SEK’s Export Credit Trends Survey: Few companies worried over possible Brexit
Today, the results of SEK's Export Credit Trends Survey with questions to over 220 Swedish export companies is presented. Although the beginning of 2016 was marked by continued global concerns of terrorist attacks in Europe and the continuing refugee crisis, it has not affected companies’ investments to any notable extent. Uncertainty over a possible Brexit should also not be overestimated, if those companies surveyed are to be believed. 80 percent of these companies currently trade with the UK, but only half of the companies believe a British exit from the EU would affect their trade with the UK.
“It is a relatively low percentage of companies that expect their business to be affected by a Brexit. This could be interpreted both positively and negatively. It is positive if a Brexit did not have negative consequences in the form of significant weakening of the pound or a deterioration in trading conditions. On the other hand, it could be negative if companies are not prepared for the possibility that conditions could deteriorate significantly and that trade would actually be adversely affected,“ says SEK's Chief Economist Marie Giertz.
The Export Credit Index (ECI) has continued to weaken slightly since the last survey in the autumn. ECI is a composite index that measures companies’ financial position, financing needs and opportunities, has fallen from 56 to 54, chiefly because of slightly lower financing needs and slightly higher costs. Export orders have also been slightly down. And the companies surveyed do not expect the value of the Swedish krona to be favorable. The credit market climate is beneficial, however, and the corporate sector is well positioned and access to funding is healthy.
“There is good potential for the export industry in view of global demand” says SEK's Chief Economist Marie Giertz.
Companies in our survey also indicate that they expect to continue to hire. It is still abroad that most see hiring needs, but they also expect to employ in Sweden.
The percentage of companies that routinely set sustainability requirements for export sales has increased. The percentage has risen from just under 45 percent to 55 percent for all companies. This increase is mainly due to large companies making significant strides in this area. Some 70 percent of large companies now say they routinely set sustainability requirements in connection with export contracts, compared with 50 percent when we launched our surveys in spring 2013.
Read more in the attachment or on www.sek.se.
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SEK’s mission is to ensure access to financial solutions for the Swedish export industry on commercial and sustainable terms. SEK has a complementary role in the market, which means we act as a complement to bank and capital market financing for exporters wanting a range of financing sources. SEK's vision is to strengthen the competitiveness of Swedish exporters, which helps create employment and sustainable growth in Sweden.
About the Export Credit Trends Survey
The purpose of the Export Credit Trends Survey is to increase understanding about Swedish exporters’ financing needs and opportunities, and the implications of these factors for exports. In addition, the survey highlights other factors that may have an effect on companies’ export sales, such as sustainable business. The target group is all exporting companies with a minimum export volume of Skr 25 million and whose exports account for at least 50 percent of sales. The survey is statistically assured. A total of 224 companies responded to the survey, 126 of which were large companies and 98 were SME's. The overall response rate was 52 percent. The interviews were conducted between April 4 to April 29, 2016. The respondents were exporting companies’ chief financial officers or equivalent. The Export Credit Trends Survery was first published in June 2013.