Cautious welcome for trade figures

Business leaders in the West Midlands have welcomed figures that say the trade deficit has closed slightly.

The difference between imports and exports dropped from £2.8bn in December to £2.4bn in January 2013 and that news has been cautiously welcomed by Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

She said: “We know that we have to rebalance the economy and get more companies exporting.

“On this patch, we launched an Exporting is Good for Coventry and Warwickshire alongside partners at the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) team for our region.

“The key is to continually push that message out there to firms of all sizes and sectors that exporting is possible, brings a host of benefits to a business and is not as daunting as it may seem at first.

“We have excellent links with UKTI in the West Midlands and that results in many businesses across the region trading overseas.

“The latest figures on the trade deficit are encouraging but we all know that more work needs to be done to close the gap even further.

“That is why the Chambers across the West Midlands have ensured we have such strong ties with UKTI because it has a presence across the globe that helps our members – and non Chamber members – tap into markets they, otherwise, wouldn’t reach.

“We’d like to see further incentives and support in the Chancellor’s Budget on international trade to help close the trade deficit even further. That is going to be vital in growing the UK economy.”