New figures from HMRC have revealed that the value of exported goods by companies in the North West rose by over a fifth in the first three months of 2017 versus the same period last year.
In the three months to the end of March, exports from North West companies reached £8bn, up from £6.6bn in the same period last year, a rise of 21 per cent.
Exports to EU countries accounted for 47 per cent of the total value, followed by North America on 20 per cent and Asia and Oceania on 17 per cent.
Machinery and transport exports made the most significant contribution – 46 per cent of the total value – while chemicals accounted for 23 per cent.
There was also a modest uplift in the number of North West exporters, which rose from 11,710 in Q1 of 2016 to 12,265 in Q1 2017.
Commenting on the new figures, Graham Bond, RSM’s head of manufacturing in the North West, said: ‘The decrease in the value of the pound since last year’s referendum has helped exporters and these figures show that the region’s businesses have been making the most of this.
‘Looking ahead, however, the outlook for exporters is less clear. Last week’s election result has caused further turbulence in the political climate and businesses will no doubt be hoping for some early clarity on the UK’s future trading relationships with Europe once the Brexit negotiations start in earnest.’