Export activity at highest level since 2007, says BCC

image captionWhisky accounts for a quarter of Britain's food and drink exports

UK export activity has reached levels not seen since the financial crisis, according to a report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Its trade index rose to 118.12 in the second quarter, up 2.9% on the same period last year.

The index is based on export documents issued to businesses by the BCC.

The report includes a survey to measure confidence and the results suggest exporters are optimistic over future sales and profits.

The report's findings for the second quarter include:

  • export orders for service firms hit a record
  • 42% of manufacturing firms reported higher export sales
  • 31% of firms expect to increase staff this year

"For the first time on record, these results are positive across the board. Export sales and orders have gone up, confidence is high and expectations around profitability have increased, " said John Longworth, director general of the BCC.

The latest government figures support the BCC's report.

In the three months to the end of May, excluding oil and other erratic items, exports rose 1.3%.

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