The UK trade deficit shrank to GBP 5.41 billion in March 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 6.22 billion in the previous month. Exports rose 2.7 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.57 billion while imports grew at a slower 1.1 percent to GBP 59.97 billion. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1360.57 GBP Million from 1955 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -6710 GBP Million in January of 2019.

Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom is expected to be -2900.00 GBP Million by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom to stand at -3300.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -2800.00 GBP Million in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2019-02-11 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.229B £-3.615B £ -1.9B
2019-03-12 09:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.825B £-3.448B £-3.5B £-2.6B
2019-04-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-4.860B £-5.345B £-1.2B
2019-05-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-5.408B £-6.219B £-2.7B
2019-06-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-5.408B £-3.2B
2019-07-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.6B
2019-08-09 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.9B



UK Trade Gap Narrows in March

The UK trade deficit shrank to GBP 5.41 billion in March 2019 from an upwardly revised GBP 6.22 billion in the previous month.

Exports of goods and services from the UK rose 2.7 percent month-over-month to GBP 54.57 billion in March 2019, amid  higher sales of goods (4.6 percent) and services (0.3 percent). Within goods commodities, main gains were recorded in shipments of machinery & transport equipment (1.6 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (12.6 percent); chemicals (0.9 percent); food & live animals (4.6 percent) and crude materials (12.3 percent). However, declines were observed in sales of fuels (-6.9 percent); beverages & tobacco (-1.3 percent) and animal & vegetable oils & fats (-10.4 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU advanced 3.5 percent, as shipments rose mainly to France (12.6 percent), Ireland (11 percent), Belgium (3.7 percent) and Italy (4.3 percent). In contrast, they slipped primarily to Germany (-4.5 percent), the Netherlands (-0.2 percent) and Spain (-5.3 percent). On the other hand, exports to non-EU countries increased 5.9 percent, namely China (20.4 percent), Hong Kong (57.5 percent), Japan (18.2 percent), India (18.5 percent), the UAE (21.9 percent) and Switzerland (5.3 percent), but they went down to the US (-2.8 percent) and Australia (-6.4 percent)

Imports of goods and services to the UK advanced at a softer 1.1 percent to GBP 59.97 billion, as purchases rose for goods (1.4 percent) and services (0.2 percent). Within goods commodities, imports rose mostly for chemicals (10 percent); miscellaneous manufactures (9.5 percent); machinery & transport equipment (2.2 percent) and material manufactures (2 percent). Meanwhile, purchases fell for unspecified goods (-40.8 percent); beverages & tobacco (-1.8 percent); animal & vegetable oils & fats (-1.8 percent) and crude materials (-0.5 percent).

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from the EU rose 6.8 percent, mainly Germany (6.1 percent), the Netherlands (12.2 percent), France (16.9 percent), Italy (1.3 percent) and Spain (5.2 percent). Conversely, main decreases were recorded from Belgium (-1.3 percent) and Ireland (-10 percent). At the same time, purchases from non-EU countries fell 4.8 percent, dragged down by lower imports from the US (-3.4 percent), Norway (-16.2 percent), Switzerland (-19 percent) and Australia (-24.9 percent). Meanwhile, main increases were seen from China (0.9 percent), Russia (1.6 percent) and India (16.7 percent).

Considering the first quarter of 2019, the country's trade deficit hit a record high of GBP 18.34 billion.


ONS | Luisa Carvalho | luisa.carvalho@tradingeconomics.com
5/10/2019 10:33:16 AM



United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -5408.00 -6219.00 2946.00 -6710.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -23707.00 -22988.00 2654.00 -32163.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -3.90 -3.30 2.60 -5.20 percent [+]
Imports 59973.00 59330.00 60212.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 54565.00 53111.00 54565.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
External Debt 6621492.00 6301189.00 6621492.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Capital Flows 34972.00 33427.00 42878.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment 15947.00 8525.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 1115.18 1085.71 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.61 5.10 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1460.00 1680.00 3014.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2640.00 2850.00 4043.00 540.00 Thousand [+]
Weapons Sales 1214.00 1365.00 6069.00 744.00 USD Million [+]

Exports by Country  |   Exports by Category  |   Imports by Country  |   Imports by Category



United Kingdom Balance of Trade

The UK's trade balance has been in deficit since 1998, due to deficits in trade in goods which are partly offset by surpluses in trade in services. The level of total UK trade in goods as a proportion of total trade in goods and services has been gradually declining since 1986 after peaking at 75 percent in 1985. This is consistent with the rising share of UK trade in services (35 percent of total trade in 2017). In 2017, the biggest goods deficits were recorded with Germany, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium & Luxembourg and Italy; and the largest surpluses were recorded with the United States, Ireland and South Korea. This page provides - United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. United Kingdom Balance of Trade - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on May of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-5408.00 -6219.00 2946.00 -6710.00 1955 - 2019 GBP Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 1131.00 Apr/19
Australia 4949.00 Mar/19
Brazil 6060.00 Apr/19
Canada -3211.20 Mar/19
China 138.34 Apr/19
Euro Area 22532.90 Mar/19
France -5324.00 Mar/19
Germany 22683.00 Mar/19
India -15330.00 Apr/19
Indonesia -2501.90 Apr/19
Italy 4625.00 Mar/19
Japan 60.40 Apr/19
Mexico 1370.00 Apr/19
Netherlands 5330.00 Mar/19
Russia 15537.00 Mar/19
Saudi Arabia 180059.00 Dec/18
Singapore 2782.79 Apr/19
South Africa 5004.63 Mar/19
South Korea 4120.00 Apr/19
Spain -2352600.00 Mar/19
Switzerland 2494.00 Mar/19
Turkey -2136.73 Mar/19
United Kingdom -5408.00 Mar/19
United States -50000.00 Mar/19


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