UK Trade Deficit Narrows in February

Britain’s goods and services trade gap decreased to £ 2.06 billion in February of 2014, down from a revised £ 2.2 billion deficit in the previous month, as both exports and imports fell.

There was a deficit of £ 9.1 billion on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £7.0 billion on services.

Total exports (including goods and services) decreased 0.93 percent over the previous month to £ 40.59 billion and imports dropped 1.2 percent to £ 42.65 billion.

Exports of goods decreased by 1.6 percent between January and February of 2014 to £ 23.5 billion. Imports for the same period decreased by 2.2 percent to £ 32.6 billion; roughly three-quarters of this movement is attributed to a fall in the import of erratics (ships, aircraft, precious stones and silver) which decreased by 34.5 percent from the previous month. Removing the impact of erratics, specifically imports of aircraft which decreased by 46.3 percent from the previous month, imports decreased by 0.6 percent between January and February 2014.

In February 2014, exports of goods to the EU decreased by £0.3 billion to £11.7 billion; of which £0.3 billion was attributed to fuels and in particular, trade in oil. Imports from the EU increased by £0.3 billion to £17.8 billion, mainly due to imports of finished manufactures which rose £0.2 billion from the previous month.

Exports of goods to countries outside of the EU decreased by less than £0.1 billion to £11.9 billion; an increase of £0.2 billion from exports of fuels was offset by decreases in all other key commodities. Imports from countries outside of the EU decreased by £1.0 billion to £14.8 billion. The decrease reflects falls in imports of finished manufactures (specifically aircraft) and imports of fuels (specifically oil).  

In the three months ending February 2014, exports of goods decreased by 2.5 percent, reflecting falls across a range of commodities. Imports of goods decreased by 4.7 percent in the three months to February 2014, reflecting falls in semi-manufactures and oil. 

ONS | Joana Taborda |
4/9/2014 9:49:35 AM