Two out of five firms which export goods have seen sales fall in recent months, new research suggests, leading to calls for trade barriers with the EU to be reduced.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says that advance bookings and export orders show no signs of improvement, indicating that recovery is “distant”, said the report. More than 2,900 export companies were included in the survey for the first quarter of the year.
The number of companies reporting fewer export sales increased to 41% from 38% in the previous quarter. Those saying exports have increased fell 2% to 20%.
The co-executive director of the BCC, said: “Given that export sales are at some of the lowest levels ever recorded in the history of our data, the fact that situation is continuing to deteriorate is concerning.
“These new figures show that UK exporters are currently facing a range of issues that go beyond just those that have been created by the pandemic.
“The message is loud and clear that the difficulties exporters are facing are not just ‘teething problems’.