Small manufacturers benefit from weak pound

| February 1, 2010 | 0 Comments

The latest quarterly SME Trends Survey by the CBI has found that small and medium-sized manufacturers are starting to stabilise after seven quarters of decline.

According to the business body, manufacturers are starting to benefit from the weakness of the pound, which has fallen slightly against the US dollar over the last few months.

The survey found that 27% of respondents experienced an increase in export orders in November to January, while one quarter saw a decline - resulting in a balance of +2%.

The balance of +2% was the best performance for exports in two years - when the figure was +12%.

However, while export orders are picking up, domestic orders are continuing to fall.

Of the 418 UK firms questioned, almost one quarter (23%) saw an increase in home grown orders, compared with one third who experienced a decline.

Russell Griggs, chairman of the CBI’s SME Council said: it is “encouraging that exports are now stabilising.”

“However, with the economy only just edging out of recession, conditions will still feel pretty challenging for smaller firms,” he continued.

Last week, official figures revealed that the UK economy grew by 0.1% between the October and December period, suggesting that the economy had finally emerged from its worst recession since records began in 1955.

However, the figures were far worse than expected with economists hoping for growth of around 0.4%.

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