UK Trade Deficit Narrows for 3rd Month


British trade gap declined to GBP 3294 million in April of 2016 from a downwardly revised GBP 3532 million shortfall in March. It is the lowest deficit since September last year as exports of both goods and services recorded the biggest rise in more than six years, boosted by sales of chemicals, machinery, oil, cars, clothing, beverages and aircraft.

Exports jumped 5.3 percent to GBP 44945 million in April from March. It is the biggest gain since February of 2010 and the highest value since August of 2013. This increase comprised a GBP 2.2 billion (9.1 percent) growth in exports of goods (the highest percentage increase since January 2003) and a GBP 0.1 billion (0.5 percent) rise in export of services. 

Sales of chemicals went up by GBP 0.5 billion; machinery grew by GBP 0.4 billion; oil increased GBP 0.3 billion; cars and unspecified goods rose GBP 0.2 billion and sales of clothing, beverages and aircraft all increased by GBP 0.1 billion. 

Imports went up 4.4 percent to GBP 48239 million, recovering from falls in the previous two months and rising the most since October. Purchases were boosted by a GBP 2 billion rise in imports of goods and attributed to a GBP 0.7 billion increase in chemicals, a GBP 0.4 billion rise in machinery and a GBP 0.2 billion increase in ships.

As a result, the deficit on trade in goods was GBP 10.5 billion in April, narrowing by GBP 0.1 billion from March 2016. The trade in services surplus widened by GBP 0.1 billion to GBP 7.2 billion.

Considering trade with the European Union, exports of goods increased by GBP 0.9 billion between March and April, boosted by oil and chemicals. Imports of goods rose by GBP 1.0 billion to a monthly record of GBP 20.1 billion, due to chemicals and machinery which offset a fall in aircraft. These movements resulted in widening of the trade in goods deficit with EU countries by GBP 0.1 billion, to a monthly deficit of GBP 7.9 billion in April 2016.

Sales to countries outside the EU increased by GBP 1.3 billion to a record GBP 14.0 billion, boosted by chemicals, machinery, cars and unspecified goods, beverages and aircraft. Imports rose by GBP 1.0 billion, due to chemicals, ships, machinery, clothing, aircraft, precious stones and non ferrous metals. These movements resulted in a GBP 0.3 billion narrowing of the deficit with non-EU countries to GBP 2.6 billion.


UK Trade Deficit Narrows for 3rd Month


ONS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
6/9/2016 10:09:48 AM