United Kingdom Balance of Trade  1955-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar

The UK trade deficit widened by GBP 0.7 billion to GBP 1.27 billion in August 2018 from an upwardly revised GBP 0.57 billion in the previous month and compared to market expectations of GBP 1.15 billion gap. It was the largest trade gap since May, as imports rose further than exports. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1386.27 GBP Million from 1955 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -5749 GBP Million in October of 2013.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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UK Trade Deficit Widens in August


The UK trade deficit widened by GBP 0.7 billion to GBP 1.27 billion in August 2018 from an upwardly revised GBP 0.57 billion in the previous month and compared to market expectations of GBP 1.15 billion gap. It was the largest trade gap since May, as imports rose further than exports.

Imports advanced 2.4 percent to GBP 56.35 billion in August from GBP 55.02 billion in the previous month. The increase was driven by a 3.1 percent gain in imports of goods and a 0.6 percent rise in services. Among purchases of goods, higher imports were recorded in chemicals (7.6 percent), fuels (7.9 percent), and both crude materials and beverages and tobacco (4.7 percent). On the other hand, imports declined for animal and vegetable oils and fats (-3.1 percent), food and live animals (-0.6 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (-0.6 percent) and unspecific goods (-15.4 percent). 

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries advanced 7.2 percent, while from the EU countries fell 0.5 percent.

Exports of goods and services from the UK rose 1.1 percent to GBP 55.07 billion in August, mostly due to higher sales of goods (1.4 percent), namely miscellaneous manufactures (5.9 percent), fuels (4.4 percent), food and live animals (3.2 percent), machinery and transport equipment (2.4 percent) and beverages and tobacco (2.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales dropped for animal and vegetable oils (-9.3 percent), crude materials (-4.4 percent), chemicals (-3.4 percent), unspecified goods (-8.5 percent) and material manufactures (-1.3 percent).

Among trading partners, exports of goods to non-EU countries increased 1.7 percent and to the EU rose 1.1 percent.

In the three months to July, the trade deficit narrowed GBP 4.7 billion to GBP 2.8 billion, as exports of goods and services both rose faster than imports.


ONS | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
10/10/2018 11:01:40 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-08-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-1.861B £-3.141B £-2.5B £ -3B
2018-09-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-0.111B £-0.942B £-2.1B £-2.3B
2018-10-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-1.274B £-0.572B £-1.15B £-1.8B
2018-11-09 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-1.274B £ -1.1B
2018-12-11 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.6B


United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -1274.00 -572.00 2946.00 -5749.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 55075.00 54449.00 55075.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
Imports 56349.00 55021.00 56349.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -20317.00 -15692.00 2654.00 -32163.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.10 -5.80 2.60 -5.80 percent [+]
External Debt 6382913.00 6412914.00 6428718.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Terms of Trade 101.80 101.60 107.60 80.10 Index Points [+]
Capital Flows 13843.00 3074.00 42878.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 22199.00 -3896.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 910.00 914.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.10 5.08 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 2008.00 2013.00 3014.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 3234.00 3469.00 4043.00 540.00 Thousand [+]
Weapons Sales 1214.00 1365.00 6069.00 744.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



United Kingdom Balance of Trade

The UK's trade balance has been in deficit since 1998, due to deficits in trade in goods which are partly offset by surpluses in trade in services. The level of total UK trade in goods as a proportion of total trade in goods and services has been gradually declining since 1986 after peaking at 75 percent in 1985. This is consistent with the rising share of UK trade in services (35 percent of total trade in 2017). In 2017, the biggest goods deficits were recorded with Germany, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium & Luxembourg and Italy; and the largest surpluses were recorded with the United States, Ireland and South Korea. This page provides - United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on October of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-1274.00 -572.00 2946.00 -5749.00 1955 - 2018 GBP Million Monthly




balance of trade by Country
Country Last
Argentina -1127.00 Aug/18
Australia 1604.00 Aug/18
Brazil 4971.00 Sep/18
Canada 526.10 Aug/18
China 316.93 Sep/18
Euro Area 11671.20 Aug/18
France -5632.00 Aug/18
Germany 17174.00 Aug/18
India -13980.00 Sep/18
Indonesia 227.10 Sep/18
Italy 2564.00 Aug/18
Japan -444.59 Aug/18
Mexico -2590.00 Aug/18
Netherlands 3463.00 Aug/18
Russia 15797.00 Aug/18
Saudi Arabia 162782.00 Jun/18
Singapore 3685.26 Sep/18
South Africa 8794.70 Aug/18
South Korea 9746.00 Sep/18
Spain -3247700.00 Jul/18
Switzerland 1407.94 Aug/18
Turkey -2421.79 Aug/18
United Kingdom -1274.00 Aug/18
United States -53237.00 Aug/18


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