UK Trade Deficit Narrows in August on Higher Exports

British trade gap in goods and services decreased to £3.3 billion in August 2015 from an upwardly revised £4.4 billion in July, boosted by record high car sales and higher chemical exports.
ONS | Joana Taborda | 10/9/2015 9:54:37 AM
The deficit on trade in goods was £11.1 billion in August 2015, narrowing by £1.1 billion when compared with July 2015. 

In August 2015, exports increased by £0.8 billion (1.9 percent) to £42.3 billion, with all of the increase attributed to goods, specifically cars which increased by £0.6 billion and chemicals which increased by £0.5 billion. The increase in exports of goods partially reverses the large fall in July 2015, when exports of goods reached its lowest level since September 2010. The weakness of these exports in July and August 2015 means that the total trade deficit of these combined months is already double the deficit for the whole of quarter 2 (April to June) 2015.

Exports of goods to EU countries increased by 6.2 percent (£0.7 billion) in August 2015, the largest percentage increase since July 2013. Exports of cars to EU countries increased by £0.4 billion to a record high of £1.1 billion, exceeding £1.0 billion for the first time.

Imports decreased by £0.4 billion to £45.6 billion over the same period. This decrease comprised a £0.1 billion fall in the import of services and a £0.3 fall in the imports of goods; mainly erratics. 

Imports to the EU also increased, resulting in an unchanged trade in goods deficit with EU countries of £7.4 billion in August 2015 when compared with July 2015. However, imports with countries outside the EU fell by £0.9 billion, with decreases in imports across all main commodities. 

In the 3-months to August 2015, the trade in goods deficit widened by £1.8 billion to £31.4 billion. Exports decreased by £1.5 billion and imports increased by £0.3 billion. 

UK Trade Deficit Narrows in August on Higher Exports