EXPORTERS are spearheading an economic recovery in Suffolk which is out-pacing the UK as a whole, according to a new report.

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Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s survey for the fourth quarter of 2012, reveals an improved performance across all sectors overall, but with exporters leading the way and domestic orders for manufacturers coming under pressure.

“The latest report from firms across Suffolk sees a real return to optimism,” said Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber.

“As the county chamber, we have launched our 2013 campaign Exporting is Good for Suffolk in the last few weeks and these figures do indeed show us that exporting is critical for our local economy and that we have some good solid foundations to build on in the year ahead.”

The survey shows a continued improvement for exporters compared with the third quarter of 2012, with an 11 point increase in orders, ahead of the national picture.

However, manufacturers saw a dip in performance in domestic markets, which Dr Funell said was disappointing after progress earlier in the year.

“It remains a tough economic climate to operate in,” Dr Funnell said. “What we are seeing is that the hard work that has been undertaken by businesses throughout 2012 is bearing fruit at the end of the year.

“The survey findings are a return to optimism but it remains crucial for local firms to see positive moves from local and national government to maintain confidence. This includes continued actions on skills, infrastructure and business financing.

“The challenge now for the Government is to grasp the nettle of supporting the remarkable efforts being made by firms locally and nationally.

“We are pleased to hear about the Government’s plans for a British business bank but we need also to see large scale investment in infrastructure and where appropriate housing to encourage economic growth.”

The survey was conducted in late November/early December, with the results being analysed by a research team at Suffolk County Council.

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