Transport sector picks up

7 September 2010

7 September 2010 | Helen Gilbert

The UK transport and storage sector is positive about its economic prospects for the next 12 months despite a dip in UK business confidence overall, latest research reveals. 

An increase in overseas orders and growing demand from foreign customers were among the reasons for the renewed optimism, according to a report by ICAEW/Grant Thornton UK Business Confidence Monitor (BCM). 

The BCM discovered that in quarter three 2010, 65 per cent of those in the transport and storage industry had greater confidence in the economic prospects facing their organisations over the next year, compared to the previous 12 months. Only 12 per cent are less confident about the coming year. 

The findings are a marked improvement on figures for the last quarter, when 59 per cent stated they were more confident and 20 per cent were unsure.

Will McWilliams, head of transport at Grant Thornton, said: “The transport sector seems to be holding up better than others as a result of a slight increase in overseas orders and growing demand from foreign customers. 

“However, with the government’s October spending review expected to cut transport spending, we could see confidence in the sector decline somewhat for the next quarter and beyond.

Reducing carbon emissions within the transport industry is also a priority and although necessary, policies around this might prove costly for businesses in the sector, thus impacting on levels of overall confidence.”

Transport and storage firms also reported marginal growth in turnover (0.3 per cent) and gross profits (0.8 per cent) over the past 12 months.

However the forecasts for growth in turnover and profits (at 4 per cent and 3 per cent respectively), remain below levels typically seen before the recession. Prices also saw a slight increase of 0.9 per cent in the past year.

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