UK goods trade gap biggest on record

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Containers, Port of Felixstowe

The UK’s assets c incriminating evidences trade gap with the rest of the world widened by £1.9bn to a record exalted of £125bn in 2015, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics also informed the latest figures would have a negative im ct on its second guess of fourth-quarter economic growth.

But 2015 also saw a record surplus in the UK’s ramount services sector of £90bn.

That meant the UK’s total trade gap broadened by just £300m last year.

The overall deficit – the difference between the amount the UK introduces and what it exports – stood at £34.7bn in 2015, the ONS said.

It will make known its second estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth on 25 February.


Duplicate copyright AP

Analysis: Kamal Ahmed, BBC Economics Editor

Britain is bare good at exporting services – financial, tourism, creative and legal – where the UK’s traffic surplus hit a record £90.3bn.

And is notoriously bad at increasing the exports of goods as the UK tries to rebalance its economy away from consumer consumption towards turn out.

The strength of the pound for most of last year is only exacerbating Britain’s snag selling things abroad.

This has been George Osborne’s in in the arse ever since becoming Chancellor in 2010.

Most worrying, trade with Germany and China – the two substantial powerhouses of Europe and Asia – weakened in the final quarter of 2015.

There is also an increasing boundary line between the UK’s performance in the European Union, where the country’s goods dealings deficit is widening, and Britain’s trade with the rest of the world, where the site is rosier.

Between 2014 and 2015 exports of goods to countries furthest the EU increased by £3.5bn.

Businesses finally seem to be looking beyond the EU’s frontiers for opportunities for growth.

You can read more from Kamal here.


Today’s motifs also contained December’s trade data, which showed the deficiency narrowed by £1.3bn to £2,7bn overall in the month.

The goods deficit flatten to £9.9bn from £11.5bn in November, but that was thanks to a fall in consequences of £1.7bn in December rather than an increase in exports.

A large as far as someone is concerned of the fall was however accounted for by depressed oil prices, which meant the expenditure of oil imports fell in value terms to their lowest level since February 2009.

In the three months to the end of December, the UK’s vocation deficit stood at £10.4bn, com red with £8.6bn in the three months to the end of September.

The UK also suffered a record traded goods loss of £23.2bn with the rest of the European Union in the fourth quarter of 2015, as exports to other EU powers fell 0.5% and imports from the EU rose 2.7%

The trade deficit is one of the determinants cited by analysts as a drag on UK economic growth, which has been exacerbated by the stiffening pound over the st few years.

‘Dangerous cocktail’

A stronger work over makes UK exports more expensive for overseas customers.

The UK’s overall clientele deficit took its toll on growth in the third quarter of 2015, granting to disappointing economic growth of 0.4%.

Chancellor George Osborne has warned that the restraint is facing a “dangerous cocktail” of risks in 2016, ranging from slowing worldwide economic growth to volatile stock markets and the continuing slump in oil values.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at ntheon Macroeconomics, said the most recent trade figures pointed to net trade subtracting 0.2 percentage themes from quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“With global career flows slowing and UK goods still uncompetitive despite sterling’s depreciation since December, we trust a poor trade performance to continue to impede the economic recovery this year, ” he answered.

ul Hollingsworth, UK economist at Capital Economics, said he believed unsettles about a sharp global slowdown were “somewhat overdone”.

But he added: “Nonetheless, any progression in reducing the trade deficit is likely to be extremely slow in the near dub, leaving the [UK] recovery reliant on domestic demand.”

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