United Kingdom Balance of Trade  1955-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services widened by £2.3 billion to £4.9 billion in March 2017 from a downwardly revised £2.7 billion in February. Imports increased in the month by £2.9 billion to a new record high of £53.9 billion, due to an increase in purchases of goods from both EU and non-EU countries. Exports increased by £0.6 billion to £49.0 billion. In the first quarter of the year, the trade deficit widened by £5.7 billion to £10.5 billion, following a sharp narrowing in the previous period. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1466.71 GBP Million from 1955 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -6058 GBP Million in November of 2013.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2017-03-10 09:30 AM Jan £-1.97B £-2.03B £-3.8B
2017-04-07 08:30 AM Feb £-3.66B £-2.98B £-3.2B
2017-05-11 08:30 AM Mar £-4.90B £-2.65B £-4.4B
2017-06-09 08:30 AM Apr £-4.90B
2017-07-07 08:30 AM May
2017-08-10 08:30 AM Jun




UK Trade Deficit Widens As Imports Hit New Record


The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services widened by £2.3 billion to £4.9 billion in March 2017 from a downwardly revised £2.7 billion in February. Imports increased in the month by £2.9 billion to a new record high of £53.9 billion, due to an increase in purchases of goods from both EU and non-EU countries. Exports increased by £0.6 billion to £49.0 billion.

Imports of goods and services rose by £2.9 billion to a new record high of £53.9 billion from £51.0 billion in the previous month, mainly due to an increase in purchases of goods. At the commodity level, the main contributors to this increase were chemicals, oil, cars and mechanical machinery. Among trading partners, imports of goods from the EU increased by 5.7 percent, mainly from the Netherlands (14.5 percent), Spain (11.7 percent), Sweden (5.2 percent) and Germany (4.4 percent). Imports from non-EU countries also rose by 10.6 percent, boosted by higher purchases from the US (13.4 percent), China (7.1 percent) and Norway (6 percent).

Exports of goods and services increased by £0.6 billion to £49.0 billion in March from £48.4 billion in February, due to an increase of £1.1 billion in exports of trade in goods while exports of services fell £0.4 billion. Sales of goods to the EU rose by 6.1 percent, mainly to France (12 percent), Germany (7.2 percent) and Ireland (6.8 percent). Also, exports to non-EU countries grew by 1.8 percent, boosted by higher sales to China (9.2 percent) and the US (2.3 percent).

On the price front, export and import prices increased by 1.5 percent and 1.4 percent respectively, with the value of sterling decreasing by 1.3 percent in March 2017 compared with the February 2017 average. However, it remains 10.7 percent lower when compared with March 2016.

Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first three months of 2017, the total trade deficit (goods and services) widened by £5.7 billion to £10.5 billion; this followed a sharp narrowing in the previous period. The widening of the deficit reflected a rise in imports (3.3 percent) and a fall in exports (-0.5 percent) over the period. This was mainly due to increases in purchases of machinery and transport equipment (mainly mechanical machinery and cars), oil and chemicals.

ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
5/11/2017 9:19:41 AM



United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -4900.00 -2650.00 2946.00 -6058.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 49022.00 48391.00 49817.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
Imports 53922.00 51041.00 53922.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -12088.00 -25701.00 2657.00 -26298.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.40 -4.30 2.60 -4.70 percent [+]
External Debt 6085392.00 6176450.00 6428718.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Terms of Trade 100.70 101.10 107.60 80.10 Index Points [+]
Capital Flows 51392.00 26731.00 51392.00 -10498.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 110946.00 45227.00 110946.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.29 310.29 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 969.00 957.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Weapons Sales 1214.00 1644.00 6069.00 744.00 USD Million [+]
Terrorism Index 5.08 5.61 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1510.00 1170.00 2669.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2920.00 2300.00 3800.00 540.00 Thousand [+]

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



United Kingdom Balance of Trade Notes

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 (44 percent of total trade in 2016). In 2016, the biggest goods deficits were recorded with Germany, China, and the Netherlands, and the largest surpluses were recorded with the United States and Ireland. 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 May of 2017.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-4900.00 -2650.00 2946.00 -6058.00 1955 - 2017 GBP Million Monthly



balance of trade by Country

Last
Australia 3107.00 Mar/17
Brazil 6969.00 Apr/17
Canada -134.70 Mar/17
China 380.48 Apr/17
Euro Area 30899.90 Mar/17
France -5353.00 Mar/17
Germany 25385.00 Mar/17
India -13249.19 Apr/17
Indonesia 1238.30 Apr/17
Italy 5418.04 Mar/17
Japan 481.75 Apr/17
Mexico -183.00 Mar/17
Netherlands 6719.00 Mar/17
Russia 12598.00 Mar/17
South Korea 13254.00 Apr/17
Spain -2606000.00 Feb/17
Switzerland 1968.00 Apr/17
Turkey -4492.00 Mar/17
United Kingdom -4900.00 Mar/17
United States -43706.00 Mar/17