Manufacturers are unlikely to contribute much to the UK’s economic growth this year, according to new survey figures released this morning.
Export sales nearly stagnated in the final three months of last year, the data from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) revealed.
The export sales balance – the difference between the percentage of factories reporting higher and lower sales – was one per cent, the lowest since 2009.
While domestic sales were stronger, growth slowed with the overall sales balance falling to 13 per cent.
The service sector also lost some steam with export sales growth falling to its lowest since 2011. However, the sector is still growing at a robust pace, relying mainly on domestic growth, according to the survey of nearly 7,500 firms.
“The sharp decline in export manufacturing balances, to levels approaching stagnation, is particularly disturbing. Slowing growth in international markets is causing these firms to become pessimistic about their short-term prospects,” said BCC chief economist David Kern.