UK Trade Gap Widens Slightly in July

The UK trade deficit rose slightly to GBP 0.22 billion in July 2019 from a revised GBP 0.13 billion shortfall in the previous month. Imports rose 2.7 percent while exports advanced at a slower 2.5 percent.

Imports of goods and services to the UK advanced 2.7 percent from a month earlier to GBP 55.30 billion in July 2019, the first gain in four months and the highest since January, following a downwardly revised 2.5 percent decrease in June. Purchases of goods went up 3.3 percent to GBP 41.19 billion, mainly driven by machinery and transport equipment (3.7 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (2.5 percent); chemicals (11 percent); fuels (3.6 percent); food & live animals (4.3 percent) and crude materials (12.3 percent). In contrast, lower acquisitions were recorded for material manufactures (-5.9 percent). At the same time, services imports rose 1.2 percent, the most in eight months, following a 0.3 percent gain in the prior month.

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non EU-countries jumped 5.6 percent, mostly from China (3.5 percent), the US (14.1 percent), Norway (27.6 percent), Turkey (36.9 percent), India (55.7 percent), Japan (9.6 percent) and Russia (20.1 percent). Meantime, purchases from the EU grew 1.3 percent, namely Germany (7.9 percent), the Netherlands (2.4 percent), France (0.6 percent), Belgium (5.1 percent) and Spain (3.0 percent).

Exports from the UK increased 2.5 percent month-over-month to GBP 55.08 billion in July 2019, after a downwardly revised 1.9 percent rise in June. Shipments of goods grew 3.5 percent to GBP 31.05 billion, boosted by machinery & transport equipment (1.5 percent); chemicals (8.2 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (6.6 percent); fuels (3.8 percent). However, overseas sales fell for animal & vegetable oils & fats (-10.2 percent); crude materials (-0.2 percent) and beverages & tobacco (-3.9 percent). On the other hand, exports of services rose 1.3 percent, the most in eight months, after a 0.6 percent rise in June. 

Among major trading partners, goods exports to non-EU countries surged 5.2 percent, primarily to the US (13.8 percent), China (18.8 percent), Switzerland (8.7 percent), Hong Kong (1.7 percent) and Japan (11.9 percent). Exports to the EU rose 1.5 percent, in particular to Germany (5.8 percent), France (9.4 percent), Ireland (2.6 percent) and Spain (7.5 percent), but decreased to the Netherlands (-5.6 percent) and Belgium (-15.1 percent).

UK Trade Gap Widens Slightly in July

ONS | Luisa Carvalho |
9/9/2019 9:46:42 AM