Small business export levels lowest since the recession

Domestic orders are also down for the first time in two years, according to new CBI data

Export orders for small and medium businesses in the UK are at the lowest levels since 2009; as detailed in new data by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The survey of small business manufacturers also found that domestic orders are down for the first time in two years, while confidence has dropped for the first time since January 2013 – 29% said they were less optimistic about their business situation.

46% of the small firms surveyed said exports had fallen with just 10% having reported an increase in export orders.

Prices were cited as the “main constraint” on export orders by small business manufacturers and 12% predict export prices will drop further over the next three months.

The news comes just a week before the UKTI-backed Export Week; a week of events including seminars and workshops which are designed to help businesses trade overseas.

CBI director of economics, Rain Newton-Smith, commented: “As demand has fallen, especially in the face of a strengthening pound, our smaller manufacturers have had a tough quarter, with orders and output volumes dropping.

“Manufacturers expect conditions to stabilise somewhat over the quarter ahead, but remain concerned about the outlook for demand.”

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