UK Trade Deficit Widens in May

The trade gap in the United Kingdom widened slightly by GBP 0.6 billion to GBP 2.3 billion in May from April of 2016. Exports fell the most in ten months and imports declined for the first time this year.

Total exports shrank 4.4 percent from April to GBP 43.09 billion. Sales of goods declined 8.2 percent and offset a 0.7 percent rise in exports of services. Unspecified goods including parcel post and low value trade and most notably, non-monetary gold went down GBP 1.2 billion. In addition, chemicals fell GBP 0.4 billion and machinery decreased GBP 0.4 billion.

Total imports declined 3.5 percent to GBP 45.3 billion, mainly due to imports of goods: both chemicals and ship and aircraft (combined) went down GBP 0.5 billion and machinery dropped GBP 0.3 billion.

Considering trade with the European Union, exports of goods fell 2.5 percent, mainly due to oil and chemicals while imports rose 0.6 percent, thus widening the goods deficit to GBP 7.3 billion. For trade with countries outside the EU, sales slumped 12.9 percent, due to unspecified goods and chemicals and imports contracted 10.7 percent due to machinery, chemicals and fuels. The goods gap widened slightly to GBP 2.56 billion. 

Figures for the month of April were revised to show the country recorded a GBP 1.95 billion deficit, much lower than an initial GBP 3.2 billion gap.

UK Trade Deficit Widens in May

ONS | Joana Taborda |
7/8/2016 10:31:17 AM