More figures showing the effect on exports of sterling’s strength appeared this week. The UK’s trade deficit in goods and services in March was £1.1bn. Though this was down from £1.7bn in February the gap is widening, says the Office of National Statistics.
Manufactured goods exports of all categories except capital goods were down in the first quarter of 1998. Car exports declined 4% compared with the previous quarter. Exports to all areas of the world except the US fell.
Barclays Bank has an entrepreneurial index based on the number of business start-ups as a proportion of the working population in England and Wales. Cambridge leads. Barclays attributes this to growth in high-tech industries with links to the university, the proximity of industry and good links to London.
Counties scoring above average are typically rural, sparsely populated with an independent local economy, or with good links to a thriving urban area. Low-scoring counties have economies based on farming or older industrial centres.
The 1998 UK Business and the Environment survey for Entec and the Green Alliance asked 300 of the top 1,000 UK firms which environmental issues had impacted on business performance. Reduction in waste headed the list. Overall, 46% said investing in environmental protection improved profitability.