23 Jan 2023
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that export are facing 'tightening pressure' as a result of decreasing export sales.
The BCC's quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook report, which polled more than 2,300 SMEs, showed that 27% of exporters recorded decreased export sales during the fourth quarter of 2022.
26% of businesses saw increased export sales, whilst 47% reported no change. 36% said they expect to see increased profitability in the next 12 months; however, 35% anticipate a decrease.
William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, commented: 'Last autumn the World Trade Organisation forecast global trade growth of just 1% in 2023, down from 3% in 2022. This is creating huge headwinds for smaller UK firms battered by the pandemic, Brexit and energy price shocks.
'Against this background it could be sometime before the global shipping and trading system returns to anything approaching normality.
'The UK government cannot afford to sit idly by as we head into such uncertain trading conditions.'