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Chamber chief calls for Brexit action as firms report export growth

The business barometer  gives an insight on the performance, concerns and trading experiences of local firms in Q1 of this year.

A total of 71% of respondents saw growth in export sales in the first quarter of the year, up significantly from zero in Q4 of 2017. This is likely to be because of the current weak pound allowing for more competitive exports, the Chamber believes.

In another positive move, almost a quarter of companies questioned reported an increase in workforce in the first three months of this year, with a similar number planning to further increase their teams during the coming months.

However, the vast majority of respondents said their hiring intentions will not be changing for Q2.

  • Pictured: Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.

Domestic sales saw a considerable dip, as did business confidence for the first part of the year, with only 15% of companies expecting an improvement in turnover this year , down from more than half in the previous quarter.

Milton Keynes Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is fantastic to see export sales booming and Milton Keynes firms taking great advantage of the sterling being weak.

"The British Chambers of Commerce are forecasting export growth of 3.6% across the UK this year and it seems local firms are beginning to follow that trend.

“Now we need government transparency, information and positive action over Brexit so that we can help advise our members and the wider business community and hopefully improve business confidence.”

To read the full QES report visit https://chambermk.co.uk/representation/quarterly-economic-surveys 

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