Small firms’ export woes

SMALL AND medium-size manufacturing firms face increasingly bleak export prospects, the CBI has warned.

The organisation’s latest four-monthly survey of trends shows business confidence among such companies falling for the second period in a row.

Compared to April, 30% of firms were less optimistic, while just 19% viewed their situation with increased confidence. The balance of -11 compares with -4 in April and +10 in January.

Export optimism for the year ahead among smaller manufacturers fell to its lowest level for 12 months, and companies reported the biggest drop in overseas orders since the previous July.

The CBI said that falling confidence was continuing to hinder investment by smaller companies, further damaging their long-term prospects.

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