Exports at five-year low as strong pound takes its toll
Thursday 24 July 1997
According to the latest quarterly survey from the British Chambers of Commerce, exporters are facing their worst summer since 1992 with both manufacturing and service companies feeling the pain.
"With interest rates expected to increase further, our concern is that sterling will continue to strengthen, causing significant damage to the UK's competitiveness, said Ian Peters, the BCC's deputy director-general.
His comments came as four leading companies issued warnings about the strength of the pound. British Steel said that the strength of sterling was putting profit margins under increasing pressure. Sir Brian Moffatt, chairman, criticised the Government for relying on interest rates rather than fiscal policy to curb inflation.
Courtaulds, the chemicals group, blamed the strong pound for its warning yesterday that first-quarter profits were "a little below" those of last year. Sir David Lees, chairman, said the rising pound was having an adverse impact both on trading competitiveness and profit translation.
De La Rue, the banknote printer, added its voice to the debate at its agm. It said the strong pound and margin pressure in banknotes had resulted in first-quarter operating profits falling below those of last year.
Reuters has also been savaged by sterling. Its pre-tax profits for the first half of the year were down 3 per cent to pounds 333m compared with a 12 per cent increase at comparable exchange rates. Analysts estimated that sterling's strength had reduced first-half profits by pounds 50m.
The BCC urged Mr Brown to speed up the introduction of the new individual savings account to encourage consumers to save windfall gains instead of spending them and reduce the pressure for higher interest rates.
But the Trades Union Congress said that the Government could take the pressure off the pound by indicating that it was considering entry to the single currency at a ``realistic and competitive rate of DM2.50''.
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 3 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 4 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
- 5 Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...
£45,000 - £65,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is a well-known APAC Corporate and...
£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...