West Midlands’ exports hit £29bn

West Midlands’ exports hit £29bn

Exports from the West Midlands increased to £28.97bn last year, making it the UK’s third largest exporting region.

The latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show exports increased by 0.8% on 2014, boosted by strong demand from North America. The region was third only to the South East and London, with 10.4% of the UK’s total exports.

The products most in demand included machinery and transport, manufactured goods and miscellaneous manufactures.

Christine Hamilton, interim regional director of UKTI West Midlands, said: “These are encouraging figures for West Midlands businesses and the economy as the region continues to show growth in the amount of export of goods.

“USA is a particularly strong market for our area and there is no sign of a slowdown in the number of exports going across the Atlantic, while the Middle East and North Africa is another global market that is showing sustained growth.” 

There was a strong increase in trade with North America – up 26.6% between 2014 and 2015 – with local companies exporting £6bn of goods across the pond.

The report also shows a 14.6% rise in exports to the Middle East and North Africa, while in Sub-Saharan Africa there was a slight increase of 0.4% in the amount of exports.

West Midlands’ exports to the EU also continued to grow during 2015, with the market worth £12bn – up 4.4%.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, added: “This is a tremendous result and one that the West Midland should rightly be proud.

“The strong increase in trade with North America in particular is a tremendous result given the extra competition in that part of the world.”

The region’s top five markets for the year were USA, China, Germany, France, and the Irish Republic.