Action needed as more SME exporters report falling sales
SME exporters have reported increased sales drops in Q3 with only a third expecting to see increased profitability in the next 12 months.
The British Chambers of Commerce quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook for Q3 revealed a worrying decline in export growth following five consecutive quarters of flat activity.
It showed a sizeable proportion of SME exporters are facing an increasing squeeze on their operating margins as 65 per cent expect their prices to go up, but 39 per cent expect their profitability to go down.
SME manufacturers trading overseas are under particular pressure with only 32 per cent expecting their profitability to increase in the next 12 months and 42 per cent expecting a decrease. Although SME service exporters were slightly more optimistic than manufacturers, 37 per cent expect a decrease in profitability, while 35 per cent expect an increase.
SME manufacturing exporters are also the most likely (73 per cent) to expect to raise prices in the next year, close to record highs.
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