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BCC: Disappointing Trade Figures Show Progress Towards Rebalancing Remains Inadequate

  • The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £2.9bn in February 2015, compared with £1.5bn in January 2015;
  • In February 2015 there was a deficit of £10.3bn on goods, partially offset by an estimated surplus of £7.5bn on services;
  • In the three months to February 2015, the goods deficit between the UK and countries within the EU reached a record high of £21.1bn, since comparable records began in 1988.

Commenting on the trade figures for February 2015, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist of the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“It is disappointing that the trade deficit almost doubled between January and February, but last month’s deficit was unusually small and taking the past three months together presents a relatively better position. Nevertheless it is clear that the UK is not yet making adequate process to rebalance the economy towards net exports and this is reinforced by the disappointing export balances in our latest Quarterly Economic Survey*.

“Unless we see firm action to improve our export performance, it is not clear how we will sustain strong growth in the long-term. The UK’s trade deficit with the EU reached a record high in the last three months, and while the EU is our largest trading partner, it is vital that we capture more of the export market in the fast growing economies beyond Europe.”

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