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

The UK's trade deficit widened by GBP 2.1 billion to GBP 5.28 billion in April 2018 from an upwardly revised GBP 3.22 billion in the previous month and above market expectations of a GBP 2.5 billion gap. It was the largest trade deficit since September 2016, due to a sharp drop in exports. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1464.38 GBP Million from 1955 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -6225 GBP Million in September of 2016.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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UK Posts Largest Trade Deficit Since September 2016

The UK's trade deficit widened by GBP 2.1 billion to GBP 5.28 billion in April 2018 from an upwardly revised GBP 3.22 billion in the previous month and above market expectations of a GBP 2.5 billion gap. It was the largest trade deficit since September 2016.

Imports of goods and services to the UK rose 0.7 percent to GBP 55.27 billion in April from GBP 54.86 billion in the previous month. The increase was driven by a 0.8 percent rise in purchases of goods, led by unspecified goods; while imports of fuels, basic materials, food, beverages and tobacco, and manufactured goods fell. Also, there was a 0.5 percent increase in imports of services. Among trading partners, imports of goods from the EU grew 0.4 percent, mainly from Germany (1.8 percent) and the Netherlands (3.4 percent). In addition, purchases from non-EU countries went up 1.3 percent, as imports increased the most from Canada (111.3 percent), the US (18.4 percent) and China (1 percent); while those from Norway dropped 37.2 percent.

Exports dropped sharply by 3.2 percent to GBP 49.99 billion in April from GBP 51.64 billion in the previous month, due to lower sales of goods (-5.9 percent), mainly manufactured goods. Exports of services, however, rose 0.2 percent. Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU declined 2.5 percent, as sales decreased mainly to Germany (-6 percent), France (-1.5 percent) and Ireland (-5.7 percent); while those to the Netherlands rose 5.8 percent. Also, sales to non-EU countries slumped 9.3 percent, namely to the US (-21.7 percent), China (-6.8 percent) and Switzerland (-41 percent). 

In the three months to April 2018, the trade deficit widened GBP 1.9 billion to GBP 9.7 billion, due mainly to falling exports of both goods and services. Goods exports fell GBP 3.1 billion, due mainly to falls in exports of machinery, pharmaceuticals and aircraft, while services exports also fell GBP 2.5 billion. The UK's trade in goods deficit improved GBP 0.6 billion with countries outside of the EU and worsened GBP 1.2 billion with countries inside the EU.

ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
6/11/2018 9:01:52 AM

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-04-11 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-0.965B £-2.949B £-2.6B £-3.4B
2018-05-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.091B £-1.176B £-2B £-2.9B
2018-06-11 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-5.28B £-3.22B £-2.5B £-3.6B
2018-07-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-5.28B £-1.2B
2018-08-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £ -3B
2018-09-11 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.3B

United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -5280.00 -3220.00 2946.00 -6225.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 49991.00 51643.00 53880.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
Imports 55271.00 54863.00 55585.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -18443.00 -19173.00 2654.00 -33681.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.10 -5.80 2.60 -5.80 percent [+]
External Debt 6385526.00 6218711.00 6428718.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Terms of Trade 101.80 101.60 107.60 80.10 Index Points [+]
Capital Flows 24382.00 10929.00 42878.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 8667.00 8172.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 955.00 1027.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.10 5.08 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1560.00 1790.00 2938.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2590.00 3050.00 4020.00 540.00 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 June of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-5280.00 -3220.00 2946.00 -6225.00 1955 - 2018 GBP Million Monthly

balance of trade by Country
Country Last
Australia 977.00 Apr/18
Brazil 5981.00 May/18
Canada -1902.20 Apr/18
China 249.22 May/18
Euro Area 16704.70 Apr/18
France -4954.00 Apr/18
Germany 20413.00 Apr/18
India -14620.00 May/18
Indonesia -1629.30 Apr/18
Italy 2937.96 Apr/18
Japan -578.32 May/18
Mexico -289.15 Apr/18
Netherlands 3841.00 Apr/18
Russia 15316.00 Apr/18
South Korea 6732.00 May/18
Spain -3050045.00 Apr/18
Switzerland 2255.00 May/18
Turkey -6690.00 Apr/18
United Kingdom -5280.00 Apr/18
United States -46199.00 Apr/18