Rising International Trade Confidence Offsets UK Economic Woes

By Travelex Global Business Payments, PRNE
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LONDON, June 9, 2011 -

British importers' and exporters' confidence in international
trading conditions lifted the overall Travelex Confidence Index in May,
despite increasing concerns over the slow pace of economic recovery.

The index, released today, measures sentiment among UK
businesses that trade internationally across the UK economy, international
trading conditions and expectations for future trade.

Importers' confidence in the UK economy hit an all-time low
last month, dropping 26% over the month to 34%, whilst exporters' were
equally pessimistic, with confidence tumbling 15% to 47%. Three in five
businesses that trade internationally also expressed concern over rising
inflation, which is impacting their competitiveness abroad. One
importer/exporter commented, "Inflation is hitting our bottom line directly;
all our overheads are increasing. We are not in a position to put up our
prices to compensate."

Despite their concerns over current economic conditions, 68%
of importers and exporters are confident that international trade conditions
will improve over the next 12 months (6% higher than last month), while three
in four (74%) are confident that they will see growth in global trade over
the next 6-12 months.

Over half of the businesses interviewed expressed concern over
tighter credit conditions, as they struggle to obtain the financial support
needed to maintain stability and boost growth. May saw a 128% increase in
exporters struggling to find capital.

David Sear, Global Managing Director at Travelex Global
Business Payments, said:

"May's uplift in confidence has been tempered by a fall in
sentiment in the current economic situation, which hit an all-time low. Three
in five businesses cited inflation as a massive issue and credit also
continues to be a problem.

"Exporters are confident that they can drive the recovery, but
in reality, it will be difficult for them to do so when economic and credit
conditions are so poor."

About Travelex Confidence Index

The Travelex Confidence Index (TCI), released monthly by Travelex Global
Business Payments, provides a key indicator on international trade and
economic conditions. Conducted by independent research company TNS-RI, the
Travelex Confidence Index tracks the views and sentiments of the UK's SME
importers and exporters across industry sectors and UK regions. Visit

    For further information or interviews, please contact:

    Jessica Buttress T: +44(0)20-8415-4204
    Travelex Global Business Payments E: jessica.buttress@travelex.com

    Alicia Jennings T: +44(0)20-7566-6700
    Redleaf Polhill E: tgbp@redleafpr.com


will not be displayed