Exports surge despite strong pound, says IoD

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The Independent Online

Export orders secured by British companies surged to a three-year high in the second quarter of the year despite the strength of the pound, according to a survey published today.

Export orders secured by British companies surged to a three-year high in the second quarter of the year despite the strength of the pound, according to a survey published today.

The survey from the Institute of Directors, which polled 500 of its members, showed a balance of 20 per cent of firms reporting export order books above normal compared with 10 per cent in the previous quarter. The finding runs counter to recent reports that the strength of the pound against the euro - the currency's of the UK's main trading partners - has hit industry.

But the survey found that total orders had fallen, and directors were less optimistic on future profits, employment, output and capacity utilisation.

Ruth Lea, director of the IoD policy unit, said: "The apparent weakening on overall business performance, which is modest, can be explained by seasonal factors."

The picture was confirmed by a survey from Dun & Bradstreet, the business information company. It found fewer executives forecasting profit growth than they did three months ago.

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