BCC says pre-Brexit trade surge has stalled

Oliver Gill
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The BCC indicated that exporters are holding their breath due to the uncertainty over Britain's economic future (Source: Getty)

Trade surged on the run-up to the Brexit vote only to stall in the last two months the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said.

The amount of trade – as measured by the levels of documentation with individual chambers – rose 9.4 per cent in the second quarter compared to the first three months of 2016 and was 4.8 per cent higher than the same quarter in 2015.

However, said the BCC report "export sales and orders have remained in a holding pattern"

"Firms [are] putting off their plans for growth or recruitment until they have more certainty about the evolving economic and business position," the BCC report said.

“It's encouraging to see that more UK businesses sought export documents to get their goods safely to overseas customers this Spring. [However] the cheap pound could prove to be a double-edged sword for some companies, though, as any who are also importers will have seen their costs rise significantly, said acting director general Adam Marshall.

Read more: Britain needs a state-backed infrastructure blitz to restore confidence

Earlier this year, the BCC was at the centre of a Brexit-vote canvassing controversy as former leader John Longworth resigned on the run-up to the EU referendum.

Longworth said that Britain could have a "brighter" future outside the EU in March this year putting him at odds with the BCC's position of politically neutrality.

Read more: John Longworth resigns from the BCC over Brexit support

"In order to boost confidence for firms, the BCC calls on the government to deliver on the many infrastructure projects that will help businesses get services and goods to market," the latest report from the BCC said.

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