Imports of goods and services rose by 3.3 percent to an all-time high of £53.95 billion in June 2017 from £52.24 billion in the previous month, mainly boosted by higher purchases of machinery and transport equipment, specifically mechanical machinery, aircraft and road vehicles. Among trading partners, imports of goods from the EU increased by 3.7 percent, mainly from Germany (3 percent), France (21.1 percent) and Spain (7 percent). Meanwhile, imports of goods from non-EU countries fell by 1 percent, due to lower purchases from Norway (-14.4 percent), Japan (-4.6 percent), South Korea (-10.3 percent) and Canada (-5.5 percent).
Exports of goods and services declined by 0.7 percent to £49.39 billion from £49.73 billion in May, as a decrease of 2.8 percent in sales of goods offset a 2.1 percent gain in exports of services. Exports of goods to non-EU countries slumped 7.9 percent, dragged by lower sales to the US (-20 percent), China (-18.6 percent), South Korea (-38.9 percent), Hong Kong (-7.5 percent) and Japan (-15.4 percent). By contrast, sales of goods to the EU advanced by 2.7 percent, mainly to Germany (5.3 percent), France (3.4 percent), the Netherlands (12.5 percent) and Italy (7.2 percent).
On the price front, goods export and import prices increased by 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
In the second quarter of 2017, the trade deficit widened to £8.94 billion from £8.84 billion in the previous three-month period.