House of Commons Library

Trade: Key Economic Indicators

Published Thursday, May 26, 2016

Latest statistics on UK's trade performance and balance of payments.

Jump to full report >>

In 2015, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £512 billion and imports totalled £548 billion. The EU accounted for 44% of exports of goods and services in 2015 and 53% of imports.

Overall, the UK imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A surplus on trade in services (£88.7 billion in 2015) is more than offset by a deficit on trade in goods (£125.4 billion in 2015). The overall trade deficit was £36.7 billion (2.0% of GDP) in 2015.

The trade deficit increased to £13.2 billion in Q1 2016, up from £12.2 billion in Q4 2015. Exports increased marginally and imports increased by £1.2 billion in Q1 2016.


The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £96.2 billion in 2015, up from £92.5 billion in 2014. This is an increase from 5.1% to 5.2% of GDP. The 2015 deficit is a record high.

The current account deficit was £32.7 billion in Q4 2015 (7.0% of GDP), up sharply from £20.1 billion in Q3 2015 (4.3% of GDP).


Commons Briefing papers SN02815

Author: Dominic Webb

Topics: Economic situation, International trade

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.