Import and export main contributor to UK economic growth
The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been £4.8 billion in February 2016, a narrowing of £0.4 billion from the revised deficit for January 2016.
The narrowing is attributed to both trade in goods and trade in services. The trade in goods deficit has narrowed from £12.2 billion in January 2016, to £12.0 billion in February 2016. The trade in services surplus increased from £6.9 billion in January 2016, to £7.1 billion in February 2016.
The narrowing of the trade in goods deficit between January 2016 and February 2016 reflected an increase in exports of £0.3 billion to £23.2 billion; attributed to a rise in chemicals.
Between the 3 months to November 2015 and the 3 months to February 2016, the total trade deficit (goods and services) widened by £3.8 billion to £13.7 billion. This is the largest 3 monthly deficit since the 3 months to March 2008, when the deficit was £14.4 billion.
Between the 3 months to November 2015 and the 3 months to February 2016, the trade in goods deficit widened by £3.0 billion to £34.6 billion. This widening reflects a £1.7 billion fall in exports of goods (of which, oil fell by £0.7 billion and other fuels by £0.4 billion).
In the 3 months to February 2016, the UK's trade in goods deficit with the EU was £23.8 billion - the widest on record; reflecting a 1.3% decrease in exports and a 1.1% increase in imports.
The deficit for the previous 3 months (to November 2015) was £22.8 billion, the second largest on record. Prior to these periods, the most recent record deficit with the EU occurred in the 3 months to February 2015 when the deficit reached £22.4 billion.
Between the 3 months to November 2015 and the 3 months to February 2016, the trade in services surplus narrowed by £0.8 billion to £20.9 billion attributed to both a fall in exports and a rise in imports. ■