Service sector export sales at record high

Export sales and orders in the UK's service sector have reached record highs, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The Q1 Quarterly Economic Survey recorded a balance of +38 per cent for export sales and +39 per cent for export orders. These are the highest recorded balances in the survey's 25 year history.

Key findings:

  • Almost all key service sector balances are above pre-2007 levels
  • The employment balance in the service sector fell 13 to +16 per cent
  • Six manufacturing balances are at all-time highs, including domestic sales, domestic orders and employment expectations
  • Manufacturers and service-based firms remain concerned by inflation.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, 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."

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said:

"The results of our survey suggest that growth is strengthening in the short-term, and support our recent forecasts that the economic recovery is moving at a solid pace. But challenges persist and despite this progress, the recovery is not yet secure.

"UK growth is still reliant on consumer spending, driven by a resurgent housing market and a declining savings ratio.

"Investment and exports must play a larger contribution to our economic future, or else there is a risk that our recovery could stall."