The Channel logo


By | John Oates 4th May 2010 10:37

UK small biz gets sterling boost, no thanks to banks

Not drowning but waving

Demand from home and overseas customers is helping UK small and medium manufacturers, but getting credit from banks is still a nightmare.

The CBI's quarterly survey found 36 per cent of companies had seen a jump in orders in the first three months of the year, compared to 26 per cent which reported a fall in orders. The plus ten per cent difference is the first significant positive balance since January 2008.

Better than expected export orders were fuelled by the weak pound - a balance of 18 per cent of companies said exports were up. Orders from customers within the UK have at least stopped falling.

Although margins are under attack - 21 per cent of firms said average unit costs were rising - domestic prices have stopped falling after five quarters of shrinking prices.

A balance of 12 per cent of companies said access to credit would limit export orders.

More figures from the CBI here. ®

comment icon Read 3 comments on this article alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe