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Trade: Key Economic Indicators

Published Monday, September 9, 2019

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

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In 2018, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £634 billion and imports totalled £665 billion. The EU accounted for 46% of UK exports of goods and services and 53% of imports in 2018.

Overall, the UK imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A deficit of £138 billion on trade in goods was partially offset by a surplus of £107 billion on trade in services in 2018. The overall trade deficit was £31 billion in 2018.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £64 billion in 2018 and a trade surplus of £33 billion with non-EU countries.

The trade deficit with all countries narrowed to £2.9 billion in the three months to July 2019 compared with £17.8 billion in the previous three months. The deficit in the three months to April was large due to the large volume of imports of ‘erratics’. Erratics include ships, aircraft and non-monetary gold and can mask the underlying trade trends. 

Balance of trade, goods and services

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £82 billion in 2018, compared with £68 billion in 2017. The current account deficit was 3.9% of GDP in 2018 compared with 3.3% in 2017.

The current account deficit was £30.0 billion in Q1 2019 (5.6% of GDP), up from £23.7 billion (4.4% of GDP) in Q4 2018.



Commons Briefing papers SN02815

Author: Ilze Jozepa

Topics: Economic situation, International trade

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