By Claire West
* 30 percent of UK businesses trading internationally report an increase in international trade in last six months
* 71 percent of UK firms saw their international trade either increase or remain constant over the same period
* 78 percent of say they do not expect their international trading to drop in the next six months
UK firms remain optimistic about international trade prospects, amidst conflicting predictions on the length and depth of the recession, according to a new study by Travelex Global Business Payments, the world’s specialist provider of international payments.
Despite the National Institute of Economic and Social Research predicting that the UK economy could decline for another year and take a further two years to recover, 78 percent of UK firms trading internationally still expect their levels of international trade to either remain at current levels or increase in the next six months.
While remaining concerned about the general economic environment, 37 percent of UK firms surveyed by Travelex expect their overseas trade levels to increase and a further 41 percent expect their international trading to remain broadly constant, showing an underlying confidence in the strength of UK businesses to ride out the economic downturn. Only around two in 10
(22 percent) expect international trade to fall.
This surprising optimism could be based on the finding that three in 10 respondents to the survey said they had seen their levels of international trade increase in the last six months and almost half (41 percent) had seen trade remain constant.
“This is a significantly positive result, especially given the continuing flow of dire predictions about the global economy. Not even the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitting that the Treasury got it wrong over the length and depth of the recession has dampened individual businesses optimism about their short-term trading prospects,” said Tony Wilson, director of Travelex Global Business Payments UK.
“Even when you allow for a proportion of companies benefitting from the pound’s current weakness, and a proportion of respondents being natural bulls, the results remain eye-catching. On the face of it, the figures do not reflect the current economic climate”, he concluded.