United Kingdom Balance of Trade 1955-2014 | Data | Chart | Calendar

The United Kingdom recorded a trade deficit of 1917 GBP Million in August of 2014. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1159.66 GBP Million from 1955 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -5269 GBP Million in September of 1989. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom is reported by the Office for National Statistics.


United Kingdom Balance of Trade

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-1917.00 -3079.00 2946.00 -5269.00 1955 - 2014 GBP Million Monthly
Since 1998, U.K. runs consistent trade deficit mainly due to increase in demand of consumer goods, decline in manufacturing and deterioration in oil and gas production. In recent years, U.K. has run the biggest trade deficits with Norway, Germany, China, Hong Kong and Netherlands. The biggest trade surpluses were recorded with United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Saudi Arabia. This page provides - United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Content for - United Kingdom Balance of Trade - was last refreshed on Saturday, November 1, 2014.

UK Trade Deficit Narrows in August

UK’s trade gap decreased to £ 1.9 billion in August of 2014 from a revised £ 3.1 billion shortfall in July, mainly due to a large drop in imports from non-EU countries.

Total exports of goods and services amounted to £40.13 billion in August while imports reached £42 billion. In August 2014 there was a deficit of £9.1 billion on goods partly offset by an estimated surplus of £7.2 billion on services.

Between July 2014 and August 2014, exports of goods decreased by £0.7 billion to £23.2 billion mainly attributed to oil. Over the same period, imports of goods decreased by £2.0 billion to £32.3 billion, reflecting falls in imports of aircraft, fuels and chemicals. This is the first time in the past five months that the trade in goods deficit has narrowed and although exports fell in August, imports fell more heavily.The second most significant fall was exports of chemicals; specifically medicinal and pharmaceutical products which fell £0.3 billion from the previous month.

Imports fell by £2.0 billion in August 2014; the largest monthly decrease since July 2006. Some weakness can be attributed to a return to typical levels following the increase in imports in July 2014, however, the fall mainly reflects a £1.1 billion decrease in imports of erratic items. Of the erratic items, aircraft and non-monetary gold are the most significant movements, accounting for more than half of the decrease. Although removing the effect of these erratic items raises the import level considerably, sizeable decreases in fuels (£0.6 billion) and chemicals (£0.3 billion) still have a substantial effect on the import market.

Exports to countries within the EU decreased marginally (less than £0.1 billion). Imports from countries within the EU fell by £0.2 billion, reflecting falls in machinery and transport equipment and chemicals.

Trade with countries outside of the EU accounted for roughly 90% of the total fall in exports and imports between July 2014 and August 2014; partly caused by the strength of trade in July. In August, exports to countries outside the EU fell £0.6 billion and imports fell £1.8 billion; the lowest import level reached since April 2010. In terms of commodities, the entire decrease in exports and imports of fuels was due to countries outside the EU. Excluding the imports of erratic items, which fell by £1.0 billion, trade in fuels, particularly oil, was the most influential commodity in August 2014.

ONS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
10/10/2014 9:51:34 AM

Recent Releases

UK Trade Deficit At 10-Month High
The UK trade gap widened to £ 3.3 billion in July from £ 2.5 billion in June. Imports of goods recorded the largest monthly increase in nearly two years driven by purchases of fuels and chemicals. Published on 2014-09-09

UK Trade Deficit Widens in June
UK trade gap increased to £2.5 billion in June, compared with £2.4 billion in the previous month as exports of goods fell. Published on 2014-08-08

Calendar GMT Country Event Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-07-10 09:30 AM United Kingdom
Balance of Trade
May 2014 £ -2.418B £ -2.052B (R) £ -1.4B
2014-08-08 09:30 AM United Kingdom
Balance of Trade
Jun 2014 £ -2.459B £ -2.364B £ -1.9B
2014-09-09 09:30 AM United Kingdom
Balance of Trade
Jul 2014 £ -3.348B £ -2.459B £ -2.1B
2014-10-10 09:30 AM United Kingdom
Balance of Trade
Aug 2014 £ -1.9B £ -3.1B (R) £ -3.4B
2014-11-07 09:30 AM United Kingdom
Balance of Trade
Sep 2014 £ -1.9B £ -2.5B

United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -1917.00 -3079.00 2946.00 -5269.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 40134.00 40836.00 43708.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
Imports 42051.00 43915.00 45636.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -23096.00 -20500.00 2752.00 -23519.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.40 -3.80 1.90 -4.90 Percent [+]
External Debt -331702.00 -81805.00 97635.00 -331702.00 GBP Million [+]
Terms of Trade 100.60 99.60 111.80 82.20 Index Points [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 13483.00 6038.00 70710.00 -7354.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.25 310.25 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 729.00 847.00 2747.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]