UK Trade Deficit Widens in February


The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods and Services increased to £3.4 billion in February, up £0.9 billion from £2.5 billion in January.

The UK’s surplus in Trade in Services was estimated £5.4 billion in February, unchanged compared with January. Exports of services rose by £0.1 billion (0.6 per cent) to £15.0 billion and imports of services rose by £0.1 billion (1.0 per cent) to £9.6 billion.

The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods increased to £8.8 billion in February, up £0.9 billion from the deficit of £7.9 billion in January. Exports of goods fell by £0.9 billion (3.4 per cent), from £25.7 billion in January to £24.8 billion in February. Imports of goods remained virtually unchanged at £33.6 billion.

The deficit in trade in goods with EU countries narrowed by £0.4 billion to £3.8 billion in February, compared with the deficit of £4.2 billion in January, as exports rose £0.3 billion (1.9 per cent) to £13.1 billion, but imports fell by £0.2 billion (0.9 per cent) to £16.9 billion.

The deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries increased by £1.3 billion to £5.0 billion in February, compared with the deficit of £3.7 billion in January, as exports fell by £1.1 billion (8.8 per cent) to £11.7 billion, but imports rose by £0.2 billion (1.0 per cent) to £16.7 billion.

The decrease in total exports of goods was driven by lower exports of cars (down £0.4 billion), particularly to non-EU countries including the US, Russia and China, capital goods (down £0.3 billion) to EU (down £0.2 billion) and non-EU (down £0.1 billion) countries, and intermediate goods (down £0.2 billion), particularly to non-EU countries. These were offset by higher exports of chemicals (up £0.2 billion), and oil (up £0.1 billion) to EU countries including the Netherlands and France.

Total imports of goods were virtually unchanged in February compared with January. Imports from EU countries fell by £0.2 billion and imports from non-EU countries rose by £0.2 billion. Imports of oil fell by £0.2 billion from EU and non-EU countries (EU and non-EU each down £0.1 billion). Imports of intermediate goods fell by £0.2 billion (from EU and non-EU countries), and imports of chemicals fell by £0.1 billion (from non-EU countries). Imports of consumer goods other than cars rose by £0.3 billion (non-EU up £0.4 billion and EU down £0.1 billion), including works of art (up £0.2 billion) such as paintings and sculptures from the US and Switzerland. Imports of precious stones from non-EU countries including Botswana rose by £0.2 billion.


TradingEconomics.com, UK Office for National Statistics
4/12/2012 11:27:42 AM