Commenting on the February trade figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures are better-than-expected, but there is no room for complacency.  They come after very poor January figures, while in the longer-term exports are still growing more slowly than imports.  

“The improvement in February, which was anticipated in our Quarterly Economic Survey, must be built on to consolidate the much-needed rebalancing of the UK economy towards export-led growth.  The favourable international environment for British exporters, with a competitive exchange rate, is an opportunity that must not be missed.  

“To strengthen Britain’s international trading position, the Government must do more to support our exporters, especially in critical areas such as trade finance.  We must not forget that strong business exports should be at the core of any sustainable UK recovery.” 

Director of Policy, Adam Marshall, added:    

“To date, all political parties say that they want to rebalance the economy and improve Britain’s export potential.  Despite the improvement in today’s figures, both seasoned and first time exporters are still waiting to see concrete policy proposals that help the UK build new high-export industries. What’s more, businesses urgently need short-term trade finance support, so that our exporters can get their goods and services out to the global market as the recovery continues.”