Declining Exports 2006-04-07Posted by clype in Money, Scotland, Statistics.
Exports have now declined 36 per cent since 2000, at an average of 2.2 per cent a quarter. Official estimates released yesterday by 'The Scottish Executive' showed that the value of goods made in and sold overseas during 2005 looks likely to fall by another 1.8 per cent — but the rate of decline is slowing.
The Deputy Enterprise Minister Mr.Allan Wilson, said that, excluding electronics, the figures showed a 3.5 per cent increase. Admitting the overall picture 'over the year is less positive', he added he was encouraged to see an increase in exports over the final quarter of 2005, which was the second consecutive quarter of growth.
The figures showed the level of decline has reduced significantly since the end of 2002, which showed a drop of 12.9 per cent in real terms, or an average quarterly decline of 1.1 per cent.
The Deputy Enterprise Minister said he was encouraged that exports rose for a second consecutive quarter but conceded the performance over the year was 'less positive'. He said:
'For this quarter, it is "important to recognise" the "positive performanc"e of both the chemicals and electronics sectors, which together account for 44 per cent of total manufactured exports.
'Looking at the position over the past year, the total decline in manufactured exports continues to be heavily influenced by the performance of the electronics sector.
'This sector continues to be Scotland's main exporter, and despite the "positive performance" over the quarter there was a decline of 11.5 per cent over the year.
'This has had a considerable effect on the "overall performance" of our total manufactured exports.
'Outside the electronics sector, today's figures show an increase in export sales over the year of 3.5 per cent.'
CBI Scotland assistant director Mr.David Lonsdale, said:
'We will be watching closely to see whether the encouraging upturn in Scotland's export performance in the last quarter of 2005 will be sustained.
'Rising costs, particularly for energy and transport, affect the competitiveness of Scots exporters, so it is crucial that government plays its part.
'The cut in business rates introduced this month, with full poundage rate parity with England restored by next year, is a welcome recognition of this.'
Chemicals were the main industry driving the growth with a quarterly increase of 7.8 per cent. The main industry showing growth in exports over the year was drink, with an annual rise of 7.1 per cent. The continuing decline in electrical and instrument engineering (electronics) exports was the main driver behind the overall annual decline.