Outlook for 2013: Consider exports to achieve growth

 

Damian Walmsley, partner at Moore and Smalley, gives his thoughts on 2013.

 

Over the next 12-months we can expect the economy to remain largely flat with any growth being weak and prolonged. This is certainly the expectation of the Bank of England which recently revised down its own growth forecast from close to two per cent to one per cent.

 

We need to avoid any major surprises that can affect business confidence, such as a break-up of the Eurozone. The problems in several European countries are well documented and there are signs that the growth of the German economy, which in many ways has sustained the wider European economy, is beginning to slow down.

 

However, I’m confident we will avoid any major crisis scenarios. Growth can happen if individual businesses have focus and do not allow themselves to be distracted by events elsewhere.

 

I think 2013 can be a good year for British exports and manufacturing, notwithstanding the problems in the Eurozone, and I would encourage businesses to be looking at export opportunities to beat stagnation in the domestic market.

 

While Europe remains one of our biggest trading partners, the emerging economies, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, together with more established markets such as North America, are providing excellent growth opportunities. Even within Europe, some of the Scandinavian countries are providing good opportunities.

 

Businesses need to identify how they can tap into these markets and my advice is to speak to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to get more guidance.

 

My other piece of advice to businesses, regardless of sector, is just to stay positive, even when times are very tough. There are always going to difficult periods in business, and with each day that passes we’re getting further away from the bad times and, hopefully, closer to the better times.