Last reviewed 11 April 2014
Offering good news during Export Week, the latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey shows that exports in the services sector (sales and orders) have reached an all-time high.
The BCC said that its Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) for the first quarter (Q1) of 2014 provides further evidence that the UK economy is continuing to grow. Now in its 25th year, this first major economic survey of the quarter is closely watched by the Bank of England and the Treasury.
BCC Director General John Longworth said: "Confidence is high and our members are determined to continue driving the recovery. We are brilliant at services and very successful at exporting our knowledge-based industries all over the world. This includes everything from accountancy and marketing through to literature and the IT sector."
Both export balances in the services sector rose in Q1, surpassing their Q4 all-time highs with export sales up by 38% and export orders by 39%.
Although almost all the key balances in the services sector remain above their 2007 pre-recession levels, some concerns still exist, the BCC has pointed out.
There was, for example, a significant drop in the employment balance in the services sector (down 13 to +16%). Also, while recent falls in inflation have dampened the concerns of firms, it remains the biggest concern for both manufacturers and service-based companies.
Mr Longworth highlighted that, UK growth is still reliant on consumer spending, driven by a resurgent housing market and a declining savings ratio. He warned that investment and exports must make a larger contribution to the country's economic future, or else there is a risk that the recovery could stall.