Value of West exports rise by 30 per cent

Tom Morgan

New figures from HMRC have revealed that the value of goods exported by companies in the South West rose by 30% in the first three months of 2017 versus the same period last year.

In the three months to the end of March, exports from South West-based companies reached £6.3 billion – up from £4.8bn in the same period last year.

Exports to EU countries accounted for 42% of the total value, followed by North America on 21% and Asia and Oceania on 16%.

Machinery and transport exports made the most significant contribution – 71% of the total value – while miscellaneous manufactured goods accounted for 12%.

There was also a modest uplift in the number of South West exporters, which rose from 9,758 in Q1 of 2016 to 10,295 in Q1 2017.

Commenting on the new figures, Tom Morgan, audit partner at RSM in Bristol said: “The decrease in the value of the pound since last year’s referendum has helped exporters and these figures show that the region’s firms have been able to take advantage of this.

‘Looking ahead, however, the outlook for exporters is less clear. Last week’s election result has caused further turbulence in the political climate and businesses will no doubt be hoping for some early clarity on the UK’s future trading relationships with Europe once the Brexit negotiations start in earnest.”