International Trade Monitor

The Western Union Business Solutions International Trade Monitor is the only piece of independent research available that tracks the confidence and sentiment of Britain’s SME importers and exporters. It is a quarterly report that has been running since March 2010. The research is conducted on behalf of Western Union Business Solutions, a business unit of the Western Union Company (NYSE:WU).

Read the International Trade Monitor - January 2015


What is the International Trade Monitor (ITM)?

The ITM is a measure of the views, sentiments and confidences of the UK’s SME importers and exporters.

Developed with East & Partners, a leading specialist business banking market research and analysis firm, the ITM has been running since March 2010 and is released quarterly and surveys over 1,000 CEOs and financial decision makers in UK SMEs.

Why is the International Trade Monitor (ITM) important?

The ITM is a key measure of the mood, sentiment and confidences of the UK’s SME importers and exporters.

Exports have taken on a renewed importance in the wake of the financial crisis, as policymakers steer the UK towards an export-led economic recovery.

Whilst we have access to official government statistics on international trade, there has been little research that regularly tracks the views of importers and exporters on the ground.

SMEs are a fundamental driver to UK economic growth and are the lynchpin to the ongoing health of the economy. They account for 99.9% of private sector companies and provide 60% of private sector jobs and contribute 50% to GDP. They play an important role in bringing innovation and dynamism to the economy, we only have to look at the new breed tech start-ups to see how important they are not only to job and market creation but to the impact they have on the urban areas around them that they set up in. WUBS believes more attention needs to be given to SMEs and their needs, quality data is fairly scarce, it is WUBS’ intention that the ITM contribute to the UK’s narrative on SMEs.

Western Union Business Solutions felt it was crucial to create a monitor that measured the views of the businesses that are driving our economic recovery. Whilst the ITM does not measure the level of imports or exports, assessing how secure SME importers and exporters feel within their businesses offers us an indication on future international trading conditions and the UK economy.

Nothing on this page purports to provide any financial, investment or professional advice and Western Union Business Solutions makes no representation, warranty or condition of any kind, expressed or implied.