UK exports remain strong despite global slowdown


11th July 2019




Latest ONS data shows demand for British goods and services continue to grow to record heights despite a challenging global outlook.


  • UK exports of goods and services in the 12 months to May 2019 increased by 4.0% to a record high of £647.1 billion.

  • Goods exports increased by 4.7% to £357.1 billion.

  • The Department for International Trade (DIT) celebrates its 3rd anniversary this month.

Fresh statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) today show that despite the global economy slowing down, UK exports are growing. In the 12 months to May 2019, UK exports were worth a record £647.1 billion, as businesses up and down the country continue to tap into the demand for British products and services right across the world.

The UK has now experienced 38 consecutive months of export growth on an annual rolling basis.

Goods exports within the fuels sector were the main contributors to the increase in exports, growing by 25.9% to £39.3 billion. The UK’s renowned services also boasted a 3.3% increase in exports, bringing our trade surplus in services to £107.3 billion.

As the Department for International Trade celebrates its 3rd year anniversary this month, it celebrates helping more British businesses to sell overseas than ever before.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, said:

Despite the global headwinds getting stronger, today’s record-breaking statistics highlight what a real international trade policy can deliver for the UK as people from around the world continue to express their appetite for British goods and services.

The Department for International Trade is a dedicated international economic department, helping British business succeed abroad, as never before.

This is just the beginning – now is the time to get behind DIT so that we can give British business the backing it needs and grasp the golden opportunity in front of us.

Notes to editors:

  1. Latest trade figures for 12 months to May 2019 were sourced from ONS Statistics
  2. Over the past year, 58,080 jobs were created and safeguarded as a result of FDI projects which DIT supported. [Source: DIT Inward Investment Results 2019]
  3. Last year, DIT helped UK businesses export goods and services worth around £30.5 billion [Source: DIT Annual Report and Accounts 2018]
  4. Analysis by the Institute for Economic Affairs has estimated that this could potentially generate around £10 billion for the Exchequer.
  5. To date, the UK has signed or agreed in principle agreements with countries that account for 63% of the UK’s trade with all the countries with which the UK is seeking continuity for a potential No Deal.
Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade is a UK government department responsible for managing trade agreements between the UK and foreign countries, as well as for encouraging foreign investment and export trade.

Back to news