Some improvement in UK’s latest trade figures

Covering the month of February, the latest UK trade bulletin produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows an increase in exports.

The value of goods exports increased by £0.3 billion (0.9%) in February 2024, with a rise in exports to non-EU countries partially offset by a fall in exports to the EU, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication which can be found  here.

The total goods and services trade deficit narrowed by £2.0 billion to a deficit of £9.9 billion in the three months to February 2024 having been steadily improving since Quarter 1 (Q1) 2022.

During February, there was a 3% rise in EU imports volumes which was offset by a 3.3% drop from the rest of the world.

British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Head of Trade Policy, William Bain, said: “It is difficult to draw concrete conclusions from a single month’s data, but there are signs of a nascent improvement in import and export volumes as global demand slowly recovers. The Office for Budget Responsibility’s recent analysis also indicated we should see a modest improvement in net trade this year. But data for the last three months of UK trade, overall, remains challenging.”

He notes that, as inflationary pressures abate, global consumer demand for goods and services is likely to generate trade growth over the next two years but warns that geopolitical uncertainty remains the biggest unknown factor around the forecasts.

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