The UK trade deficit widened to GBP 3.83 billion in January 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 3.45 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a GBP 3.5 billion gap. Exports rose 2.3 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.66 billion and imports increased at a faster 2.8 percent to GBP 58.49 billion. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1333.05 GBP Million from 1955 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -5749 GBP Million in October of 2013.

Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom is expected to be -2700.00 GBP Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom to stand at -3600.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -2800.00 GBP Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-12-10 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.3B £-2.331B £-2.6B
2019-01-11 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.904B £-3.037B £ -2.2B
2019-02-11 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.229B £-3.615B £ -1.9B
2019-03-12 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.825B £-3.448B £-3.5B £-2.6B
2019-04-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.825B
2019-05-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.7B
2019-06-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade



UK Trade Deficit Widens in January

The UK trade deficit widened to GBP 3.83 billion in January 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 3.45 billion in the previous month and compared with market expectations of a GBP 3.5 billion gap. Exports rose 2.3 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.66 billion and imports increased at a faster 2.8 percent to GBP 58.49 billion.

Imports of goods and services to the UK went up 2.8 percent month-over-month to an all-time high of GBP 58.49 billion in January 2019 as companies were storing supplies ahead of exit from the European Union. Purchases of goods grew 3.8 percent driven by food & live animals (9.0 percent); beverages & tobacco (7.7 percent); animal & vegetable oils & fats (23.1 percent); chemicals (10.1 percent); machinery & transport equipment (2.4 percent); and miscellaneous manufactures (5.9 percent). On the other hand, purchases dropped for crude materials (-5.9 percent); fuels (-0.2 percent); and material manufactures (-4.7 percent). Imports of services were almost unchanged. 

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries rose 6.2 percent, as purchases increased mostly from the US (12.6 percent); Norway (1.4 percent); India (53.5 percent); Hong Kong (4 percent) and China (17.3 percent). Meantime, those from the EU advanced 1.8 percent, namely Germany (3.4 percent), Poland (6.8 percent), Belgium (6.1 percent), Sweden (3.3 percent) and France (0.8 percent) while decreased from Spain (-21 percent), Denmark (-40.5 percent), and Italy (-0.4 percent).

Exports of goods and services from the UK increased 2.3 percent to GBP 54.66 billion boosted by higher sales of goods (4.1 percent) while services grew only 0.1 percent. The biggest gains were reported for food & live animals (7.1 percent); beverages & tobacco (7.8 percent); crude materials (3.0 percent); fuels (7.6 percent); animal & vegetable oils & fats (11.4 percent); chemicals (12.4 percent); machinery & transport equipment (5.1 percent); and miscellaneous manufactures (5.7 percent). Meanwhile, sales of material manufacture declined (-6.3 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports of goods to non-EU countries edged up 3.9 percent, of which the US (24.3 percent), Australia (25.1 percent), Japan (9.7 percent), South Korea (7.7 percent), the UAE (4.4 percent), and Canada (2.7 percent). In contrast, sales went down in China (-7.8 percent), India (-33.9 percent), Switzerland (-21.5 percent), Singapore (-16.6 percent), Turkey (-16.3 percent) and Hong Kong (-8.6 percent). Shipments to the EU rose 4.3 percent, as sales increased mainly to France (14.3 percent), Spain (6.8 percent), Ireland (4.4 percent) and Belgium (3.4 percent) while fell to Germany (-4.5 percent), and Italy (-2.2 percent). 


ONS | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
3/12/2019 11:21:21 AM



United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -3825.00 -3448.00 2946.00 -5749.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -26522.00 -19954.00 2654.00 -32163.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.10 -5.80 2.60 -5.80 percent [+]
Imports 58487.00 56907.00 58487.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 54662.00 53459.00 54662.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
External Debt 6301189.00 6382913.00 6428718.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Capital Flows 33427.00 9872.00 42878.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 8525.00 30454.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 924.00 948.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.61 5.10 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1973.00 2757.00 3014.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 3055.00 3849.00 4043.00 540.00 Thousand [+]
Weapons Sales 1214.00 1365.00 6069.00 744.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



United Kingdom Balance of Trade

The UK's trade balance has been in deficit since 1998, due to deficits in trade in goods which are partly offset by surpluses in trade in services. The level of total UK trade in goods as a proportion of total trade in goods and services has been gradually declining since 1986 after peaking at 75 percent in 1985. This is consistent with the rising share of UK trade in services (35 percent of total trade in 2017). In 2017, the biggest goods deficits were recorded with Germany, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium & Luxembourg and Italy; and the largest surpluses were recorded with the United States, Ireland and South Korea. This page provides - United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-3825.00 -3448.00 2946.00 -5749.00 1955 - 2019 GBP Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 372.00 Jan/19
Australia 4549.00 Jan/19
Brazil 3670.00 Feb/19
Canada -4593.40 Dec/18
China 41.18 Feb/19
Euro Area 1547.90 Jan/19
France -4195.00 Jan/19
Germany 14500.00 Jan/19
India -9600.00 Feb/19
Indonesia 329.50 Feb/19
Italy 321.80 Jan/19
Japan 339.00 Feb/19
Mexico -4809.60 Jan/19
Netherlands 2868.00 Jan/19
Russia 13368.00 Jan/19
Saudi Arabia 184673.00 Sep/18
Singapore 5198.50 Feb/19
South Africa -13082.76 Jan/19
South Korea 3098.00 Feb/19
Spain -3247399.00 Dec/18
Switzerland 2037.56 Feb/19
Turkey -2503.45 Jan/19
United Kingdom -3825.00 Jan/19
United States -59769.00 Dec/18


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