Exporters in the south west expect to see their overseas sales decrease over the next six months, according to figures released by Lloyds Bank.

Five per cent of exporting businesses said they expected their exports to drop, following a poor end to 2017.

35 per cent of businesses in the south west export their goods or services overseas, down from 39 per cent six months ago.

Daniel Williams, the south west area director for global transaction banking SME at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: "The majority of south west exporters still see international trade playing an important role in their plans, even amid the continued climate of domestic and international uncertainty.

"Whilst it is disappointing to see a drop in exporting from the South West, those that are continuing to use international trade as a growth strategy for their business could also be better equipping themselves to manage risk during a period of uncertainty."

The numbers were released in the Business in Britain report, now in its 26th year, which gathers the views of more than 1,500 UK companies, including 119 in the south west, and tracks a range of performance and confidence measures.

Among the south west's firms as a whole, 31 per cent say the biggest barrier to exporting is exchange rate uncertainty, followed by sourcing favouring domestic supply – eight per cent – and language and cultural barriers – seven per cent.

A net balance of 25 per cent of all businesses across the south west say the fall in the value of the pound is bad for the economy, while 11 per cent say it’s bad for their business.