Northants reports more foreign trade

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SERVICE industries in Northamptonshire are reporting a big increase in overseas trade, according to a new economic survey.

Those who responded to Northants Chamber of Commerce’s most recent quarterly economic survey were divided into manufacturing and services. In total, 67 per cent of service companies reported an increase in export sales over the last three months, as well as 21 per cent of manufacturers.

Paul Griffiths, head of the Northants chamber, said: “It is great to see that more of the county’s firms are looking to international markets to grow their business during these tough, economic times and I would encourage more businesses to take the plunge as it can really reap rewards.

“Nationally, the QES results have shown that exports are on the up and domestic orders are not as reliable as they once were – that is reiterated locally with the substantial drop in advance orders for the services sector and the big boost for both sectors with regards to export sales and orders.”

However, many businesses – 59 per cent of manufacturers and 74 per cent of services firms – still said they were working below full capacity. Both sectors reported difficulties in recruiting.