UK Trade Gap Narrows in February


The UK trade deficit decreased to GBP 4.86 billion in February of 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 5.35 billion in the prior month. Exports rose 0.1 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.79 billion while imports fell 0.7 percent to GBP 59.65 billion.

Exports of goods and services from the UK went up 0.1 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.79 billion in February 2019, as higher sales of goods (0.3 percent) were partly offset by a decline in those for services (-0.1 percent). Within goods commodities, main gains were registered in shipments of machinery & transport equipment (2.3 percent); chemicals (1.7 percent); food & live animals (1.4 percent) and beverages & tobacco (3.6 percent). Meantime, declines were seen in sales of miscellaneous manufactures (-2 percent); fuels (-6.3 percent) and crude materials (-2.1 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU rose 1.8 percent, as shipments advanced mainly to Germany (4.4 percent), Belgium (2.5 percent) and Spain (7.4 percent). Meanwhile those to non-EU countries fell 1.2 percent, namely the US (-5.1 percent), Norway (-22.5 percent), India (-15.7 percent) and Australia (-14.6 percent). In contrast, they increased to China (4.3 percent) and Hong Kong (7.8 percent).

Imports of goods and services to the UK decreased 0.7 percent to GBP 59.65 billion, amid lower purchases of goods (-1.0 percent) while the ones for services were flat. Within goods commodities, declines were mostly recorded in purchases of miscellaneous manufactures (-3.6 percent); fuels (-11.1 percent); food & live animals (-0.9 percent) and animals 6 vegetables oils and fats (-15.8 percent).

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries declined 4.2 percent, of which the US (-10.8 percent), Australia (-10.6 percent), South Korea (-16.1 percent), the UAE (-26.8 percent), Turkey (-2.8 percent) and Hong Kong (-6.8 percent). Purchases from the EU grew 2 percent, mainly the Netherlands (2.2 percent), France (1.1 percent), Belgium (3.1 percent), Italy (2.9 percent), Ireland (9.9 percent). However, main decreases were seen from Germany (-0.6 percent) and Sweden (-5.2 percent).


UK Trade Gap Narrows in February


ONS | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
4/10/2019 9:38:19 AM