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BCC: Worsening Trade Deficit Highlights Need for Renewed Efforts to Boost Exports

  • The UK trade deficit on goods and services was £3.4bn in July 2015, a widening of £2.6bn compared with June.
  • Exports of goods fell by £2.3bn in July, the lowest export figure since September 2010. The fall in exports was both to EU as well as to non-EU countries.
  • In the three months to July 2015 the trade surplus in services widened slightly to £23bn.

Commenting on the trade figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“After the exceptionally good figures recorded in the second quarter of 2015, it is disappointing to see a sharp deterioration in the trade deficit in July. Although one month’s worth of figures cannot be taken in isolation, they are a reminder that we are still a long way from rebalancing our economy.  

“Although non-EU exports continue to rise on an annual basis, it is concerning that the latest figures show that exports to non-EU countries fell more sharply than exports to the EU. This may be a reflection of the increased problems that many emerging countries are now experiencing.

“On a more positive note, the trade deficit in services has improved due to the strength of our services sector. Overall, it is clear that we need a national strategy to boost exports, so that we can tackle our stubborn trade deficit.”

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