Sara’s Blog: Chambers’ survey shows export growth is stagnant and support for Ukrainian refugees

A British Chambers of Commerce survey of over 2,700 UK exporters has revealed that export sales growth has been effectively stagnant for the past year. Their quarterly Trade Confidence Outlook showed the proportion of exporters reporting increased overseas sales to be unchanged from Q4 at 29 percent, while those reporting a decrease rose one point to 25 percent.

The data showed that manufacturers were more likely to report increased export sales than either business to business service firms (such as lawyers or accountants) or business to consumer service firms (like online clothing stores).

Conversely, B2B service exporters were more likely than either manufacturers or B2C service exporters to expect profitability to increase in the coming year.

The data confirms the Chamber’s concerns – that for the last year there was a broadly flat picture for UK exports. This is in contrast with the performance of our near neighbours, with Germany’s exports both within and outside the Single Market steaming ahead by double-digit margins and with trade losses from the pandemic already effectively recovered.

UK exporters are facing the headwinds of higher red tape costs from trading with the EU, raised raw material pressures, and ongoing issues in global shipping markets. And it is likely that exporters are far more likely than non-exporters to expect increases to their prices in coming months.

If we are to realise the aspirations of the UK Government’s Export Strategy, then 2022 has to be the year where these structural factors holding back our exporters are addressed.

Sustained export growth should be powering our economic recovery from the pandemic. Chambers and their members are already working hard to increase exports but need more substantive measures from government now.

You can help to shape the future of international trade by completing a short survey on any trade support you have accessed and the barriers you are currently facing around importing and exporting. It will inform the future international trade support offer at the Chambers in the West Midlands: West Midlands International Trade survey (

And if you are an exporter and would like to add your concerns to our lobbying efforts, please contact our international trade team on 01782 202222. Full details of all our support for exporters can be found on our website: International Trade – Staffordshire Chambers

Support for Ukrainian refugees

Staffordshire Chambers will be supporting Ukrainian refugees with employability skills and businesses start-up advice as part of our Positive Pathways programme.

Positive Pathways is designed to support refugees across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire with meaningful employability skills, interview techniques and support to start their own businesses.

We are proud to support refugees from all walks of life at the Chamber, including those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine who have had to leave their homes during such horrifying and heart-breaking circumstances.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Ukraine, and we’d encourage anyone who’s eligible for the programme to get in touch.

Participants will be able to access the informative course on start-up business advice and employability skills such as CV writing and job applications.

If you know someone who is suitable for the positive pathways programme, please contact

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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