The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has recently published its Quarterly Economic Survey – the UK’s largest and most authoritative private sector business survey. Based on the responses of over 7,300 businesses in Q1 2017, the results show the manufacturing and services sector are reporting solid growth, with both experiencing increases in domestic and export sales since the previous quarter. This proves that there still remains a high chance of growth in exporting in the near future.
The survey shows the manufacturing sector performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, particularly in the exports market, with the number of firms reporting improved sales and orders higher than in previous quarters. However, the rising cost of overheads and raw materials are presenting as a risk to growth in the medium term.
Although the performance of the services sector has not returned to historic trend levels, it is improving from its decline in the two quarters immediately following the EU referendum.
The results of the survey found that businesses are continuing to feel inflationary pressures. The percentage of manufacturers reporting raw materials as the key driver of increased prices is the highest since Q4 2011, and in both sectors, a significant proportion of firms anticipate having to raise their own prices over the next three months.
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