According to a recent report, Britain's economy has grown more than was expected in the first quarter. This has been attributed mainly to net trade, which has reportedly provided a major boost.

Exports rose by 3.5% in the first quarter of 2013 – the largest rise since 2011 during the early days of economic crisis recovery – and imports rose by 2.5%. Net trade has proved to have offered the largest contribution to the economic growth as far as expenditure goes.

Container vessel by Wilson Adams via Wikimedia Commons

Container vessel by Wilson Adams via Wikimedia Commons

This comes after the encouraging news that consumer spending has increased by 0.4% during the first quarter.

On the up

This encouraging news is exactly what the trade sector needs to hear, especially as the UK's recovery from the financial crisis has, up until recently, appeared to be proceeding at a snail's pace. The output of British manufacture has also reportedly rose in June to an unprecedented level, and it seems that consumer confidence not just in the UK but overseas is enjoying a consistent growth.

While the overall economy remains at 3.2% smaller than in the first quarter of 2008 before the financial crisis, there's no doubt the improvements will instil confidence in buyers and businesses further, and encourage entrepreneurs to spread their sales further than the shores of Britain.

Queen's Awards Celebrate International Trade

As the most prestigious awards for businesses and individuals in the UK, the Queen's Awards for Enterprise are coveted by entrepreneurs and company start-ups alike. A highly competitive process, winners are selected from more than 800 nominees and announced on the 21st April – the Queen's birthday.

International Trade Awards celebrate the growth of overseas earnings in certain businesses, after the company in question can demonstrate its substantial growth in overseas earnings.

It was fashion and beauty businesses which especially shone at the awards this year – while it is notoriously rare for fashion and cosmetic retailers to snag a Queen's Award, more than a few walked away with awards for International Trade.

Lingerie brand Panache was one such company, along with maternity wear retailers Tiffany Rose. The latter published a post on their blog expressing their excitement when meeting the queen.

Nails Inc. also received an award, in recognition of its outstanding growth in overseas sales, and 70 year-old fashion company Wakefield Shirt Company ( was thrilled for the same recognition.

Bright future

With international trade continuously improved and celebrated, there's every reason to suggest that the UK economy could well owe much of its eventual recovery to trade relations across the seas.

And with UK stocks still growing in each quarter more than predicted, the growth in consumer confidence could spell an end to the financial crisis at last.

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