Global Businesses Anticipate Weaker Exports, Says Grant Thornton

Global businesses are increasingly looking to their home markets for demand, according to accountancy company Grant Thornton LLP.

The proportion of companies expecting exports to increase over the next year fell to 17 percent in the second quarter from 21 percent in the first three months of the year, according to a survey of 3,224 businesses.

The finding reflects how China is looking to rebalance its economy away from exports and how the U.S. is becoming more self-sufficient as it begins to tap new energy supplies.

“We’re not seeing the end of globalization by any means but the world’s largest exporters are all in transition,” said Ed Nusbaum, global chief executive officer at Grant Thornton International in London.

The number of businesses anticipating greater trade dropped 3 percentage points to 13 percent in the Group of Seven and by the same magnitude to 18 percent in the so-called BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The survey nevertheless found a net 50 percent predicted business revenues to rise in the next year, up from 48 percent in the previous quarter. That number rose 2 percentage points to 45 percent and 67 percent in the G-7 and BRIC economies respectively.

“With export confidence on the slide but revenue expectations holding up, it is clear that business leaders at growing companies are looking to tap into improving consumer confidence and spending power in their own markets,” said Nusbaum.

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