LONDON, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
British importers' and exporters' confidence in international trading conditions lifted the overall Travelex Confidence Index in May, despite increasing concerns over the slow pace of economic recovery.
The index, released today, measures sentiment among UK businesses that trade internationally across the UK economy, international trading conditions and expectations for future trade.
Importers' confidence in the UK economy hit an all-time low last month, dropping 26% over the month to 34%, whilst exporters' were equally pessimistic, with confidence tumbling 15% to 47%. Three in five businesses that trade internationally also expressed concern over rising inflation, which is impacting their competitiveness abroad. One importer/exporter commented, "Inflation is hitting our bottom line directly; all our overheads are increasing. We are not in a position to put up our prices to compensate."
Despite their concerns over current economic conditions, 68% of importers and exporters are confident that international trade conditions will improve over the next 12 months (6% higher than last month), while three in four (74%) are confident that they will see growth in global trade over the next 6-12 months.
Over half of the businesses interviewed expressed concern over tighter credit conditions, as they struggle to obtain the financial support needed to maintain stability and boost growth. May saw a 128% increase in exporters struggling to find capital.
David Sear, Global Managing Director at Travelex Global Business Payments, said:
"May's uplift in confidence has been tempered by a fall in sentiment in the current economic situation, which hit an all-time low. Three in five businesses cited inflation as a massive issue and credit also continues to be a problem.
"Exporters are confident that they can drive the recovery, but in reality, it will be difficult for them to do so when economic and credit conditions are so poor."
About Travelex Confidence Index
The Travelex Confidence Index (TCI), released monthly by Travelex Global Business Payments, provides a key indicator on international trade and economic conditions. Conducted by independent research company TNS-RI, the Travelex Confidence Index tracks the views and sentiments of the UK's SME importers and exporters across industry sectors and UK regions. Visit http://www.travelexbusiness.com/uk/confidence-index
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SOURCE Travelex Global Business Payments