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Trade: Key Economic Indicators

Published Monday, January 13, 2020

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 £657 billion and imports totalled £686 billion. The EU accounted for 45% 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 £139 billion on trade in goods was partially offset by a surplus of £110 billion on trade in services in 2018. The overall trade deficit was £30 billion in 2018.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £66 billion in 2018 and a trade surplus of £36 billion with non-EU countries.

The trade surplus with all countries widened to £1.1 billion in the three months to November 2019 compared with £0.5 billion in the previous three months. This was largely driven by increasing exports of unspecified goods which includes non-monetary gold. Exports increased by 2.9% over this period. Imports increased by 2.6% (both figures in cash terms).

Balance of trade 

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £83 billion in 2018, compared with £72 billion in 2017. The current account deficit was 3.9% of GDP in 2018 compared with 3.5% in 2017.

The current account deficit was £16 billion in Q3 2019 (2.8% of GDP), down from £24 billion (4.4% of GDP) in Q2 2019.

Commons Briefing papers SN02815

Author: Ilze Jozepa

Topics: Economic situation, International trade

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