UK Trade Deficit Largest in 9 Months

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services widened by £2.0 billion to £4.56 billion in June 2017 from a revised £2.52 billion in May. It was the biggest trade gap since September last year, as imports rose in the month by 3.3 percent to an all-time high of £53.95 billion, due to an increase in purchases of both goods and services. Exports dropped 0.7 percent to £49.39 billion.

Imports of goods and services rose by 3.3 percent to an all-time high of £53.95 billion in June 2017 from £52.24 billion in the previous month, mainly boosted by higher purchases of machinery and transport equipment, specifically mechanical machinery, aircraft and road vehicles. Among trading partners, imports of goods from the EU increased by 3.7 percent, mainly from Germany (3 percent), France (21.1 percent) and Spain (7 percent). Meanwhile, imports of goods from non-EU countries fell by 1 percent, due to lower purchases from Norway (-14.4 percent), Japan (-4.6 percent), South Korea (-10.3 percent) and Canada (-5.5 percent).

Exports of goods and services declined by 0.7 percent to £49.39 billion from £49.73 billion in May, as a decrease of 2.8 percent in sales of goods offset a 2.1 percent gain in exports of services. Exports of goods to non-EU countries slumped 7.9 percent, dragged by lower sales to the US (-20 percent), China (-18.6 percent), South Korea (-38.9 percent), Hong Kong (-7.5 percent) and Japan (-15.4 percent). By contrast, sales of goods to the EU advanced by 2.7 percent, mainly to Germany (5.3 percent), France (3.4 percent), the Netherlands (12.5 percent) and Italy (7.2 percent).

On the price front, goods export and import prices increased by 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

In the second quarter of 2017, the trade deficit widened to £8.94 billion from £8.84 billion in the previous three-month period.

ONS | Joana Ferreira |
8/10/2017 9:21:37 AM