UK Trade Deficit at 5-Month High

British trade gap increased to £2859 million in February from a revised £1536 million in the previous month as exports fell to a six-month low due to weaker sales to the United States.

The widening of the trade deficit between January and February 2015 mainly reflects a fall in exports of goods to non-EU countries, particularly to the United States. In terms of commodities, the main decreases were in the exports of miscellaneous manufactures, material manufactures and chemical manufactures. 

In February of 2015, the gap on trade in goods and services of £ 2.86 billion reflects a deficit of £10.3 billion on goods, partially offset by an estimated surplus of £7.5 billion on services.

Exports of goods fell by £0.9 billion to £23.2 billion in February 2015, the lowest since September 2010. The decrease reflects a £1.1 billion fall in exports of manufactured goods; in particular miscellaneous manufactures (down £0.4 billion) and material manufactures (down £0.4 billion). Fuel exports partially offset the fall in manufacturing exports with an increase of £0.3 billion from January.

Imports of goods rose by £0.3 billion in February 2015, mainly reflecting a £0.4 billion increase in imports of fuels; specifically oil imports (up £0.4 billion) and a £0.2 billion increase in imports of machinery and transport equipment. These increases were partially offset by a £0.2 billion decrease in imports of material manufactures.

In February 2015, exports to countries within the EU fell by £0.1 billion to £11.0 billion. Decreases in almost all main commodities, particularly manufactured goods (down £0.3 billion) were offset by a £0.4 billion increase in the export of fuels. Imports from EU countries fell by £0.1 billion between January and February. Decreases in material manufactures (down £0.2 billion) and chemical manufactures (down £0.1 billion) were partially offset by increases in fuels and machinery and transport equipment.

Outside the EU, exports fell by £0.9 billion. Miscellaneous manufactures fell by £0.4 billion, material manufactures fell by £0.2 billion and chemical manufactures fell by £0.1 billion. These decreases were accompanied by other, less substantial falls in the remaining main commodities. Imports from countries outside of the EU rose by £0.4 billion, reflecting a £0.2 billion rise in the import of fuels.

UK Trade Deficit at 5-Month High

ONS | Joana Taborda |
4/9/2015 9:52:49 AM