Businesses blame export delays on access to finance

Created: 09 September 2015

UK businesses are struggling to get exporting plans off the ground and drive economic growth due to problems accessing finance, the British Chambers of Commerce’s (BCC) annual International Trade survey reports.

The research carried out found that almost a quarter of British businesses preparing to export had issues accessing trade finance or credit insurance from lenders to support trading in international markets.

60% of businesses that would like to export said access to finance was a key factor in deciding whether to trade overseas – 57% of that number being micro firms (fewer than 10 employees), 29% small firms and 14% medium or large firms.

On the other hand, the survey also revealed a growing confidence amongst exporters, 90% of whom said that further expansion is a top priority.

John Longworth, BCC director general, said: “A fundamental revolution in our approach to exporting is needed if we are going to reverse our historic trade deficit, overturn our current account deficit and maintain Britain’s position as a leading global trader.

“We already have world-class products and services that are in demand globally – we now need to ensure the door is open for all the UK businesses wanting to trade overseas.

“While support for UK companies to finance exports of goods and services should be further enhanced, we also need to understand why a quarter of the exporting firms surveyed have been unable to access the financial products specifically designed to help them trade overseas.

“There are huge potential rewards for firms that can access overseas markets, but there are also costs associated in exporting. The government needs to ensure that UK Export Finance and the British Business Bank offer world-class support to UK businesses, and remove one of the main barriers to exporting – access to finance.”

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Surge in exports boosts UK growth in second quarter!

Created: 03 September 2015

Surging exports and strong business investment pushed up UK growth in the second quarter, as official data confirmed the economy grew by 0.7% in the three months to June.

The second quarter expansion follows growth of 0.4% in the first quarter and was in line with economists’ expectations.

Within this quarter, consumer spending rose by 0.7% compared with the previous quarter, representing the 16th consecutive quarter of growth, while business investment grew by 2.9%, which was much stronger than the 1.5% expansion expected by analysts.

Exports which dragged down growth in the first quarter, rose by 3.9% in the period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), while imports grew by 0.6%. Net trade alone added one percentage point to growth in the second quarter, the ONS said.

The data also showed stronger construction output was offset by weaker manufacturing activity. Britain’s services sector expanded by 0.7% in the three months to June, unchanged from an initial estimate.

"There has been a clear improvement in the UK’s export performance since mid-2014," said Dominic Bryant, UK economist at BNP Paribas.

However, many highlighted that the big boost to growth from net trade was unlikely to last in the coming months.

"Looking ahead, the pound’s recent appreciation and the continued weakness of demand in some export markets such as the Eurozone and China suggest that net exports are not about to play a sustained role in supporting the economic recovery," said Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics.

"Nonetheless, with growth in households’ real incomes set to remain supported by low inflation, building wage growth and strong job creation, we continue to think that the economic recovery will sustain its current pace in the second half of 2015."

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