U.K. Imports Seen by HSBC as Key to Export, Business Expansion

U.K. imports are increasing the country’s productivity and export potential, supporting economic and business growth, according to HSBC Bank Plc.

“Intelligent” importing is helping businesses succeed, particularly in key export areas of industrial machinery and transport equipment, the bank said in an e-mailed statement accompanying a report today.

U.K. merchandise exports will grow about 4 percent a year in 2014 and 2015, rising to 6 percent a year in the 2016-20 period, it estimates. Equivalent imports are forecast at almost 5 percent a year in 2014-15 and then just above that rate through 2020, the bank said.

U.K. economic expansion will accelerate to 2.6 percent this year, from 1.8 percent in 2013, according to economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. About 50 percent of the nation’s total export growth to 2030 will come from industrial machinery and transport equipment, HSBC said. The two areas will account for more than 30 percent of import growth in the period, it said.

“While there are concerns about the U.K.’s trade deficit, this research shows that imports used in the right way benefit U.K. businesses and the overall economy by boosting productivity and driving export growth,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Keir said in a the statement. “Far from being the enemy of U.K. manufacturing, they are the overlooked ally of many smart businesses.”

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