The UK trade deficit narrowed to GBP 2.32 billion in May 2019 from a revised GBP 3.72 billion in the previous month. That was the smallest trade deficit since last September, as exports rebounded firmly boosted by machinery & transport equipment and fuels while imports declined for the second month in a row on the back of food, material manufactures, crude materials and unspecified goods. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1371.57 GBP Million from 1955 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -7026 GBP Million in February of 2019.

Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom is expected to be -3300.00 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 -3200.00 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
2019-04-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Feb £-4.860B £-5.345B £-1.2B
2019-05-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Mar £-5.408B £-6.219B £-2.7B
2019-06-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Apr £-2.740B £-6.151B £-3.2B
2019-07-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade May £-2.324B £-3.716B £-2.6B
2019-08-09 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Jun £-2.324B £-2.9B
2019-09-09 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Jul £-2.3B
2019-10-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade Aug £-3.8B



UK Trade Gap Narrows to 8-Month Low

The UK trade deficit narrowed to GBP 2.32 billion in May 2019 from a revised GBP 3.72 billion in the previous month. That was the smallest trade deficit since last September.

Exports of goods and services from the UK surged 2.4 percent from a month earlier to GBP 54.38 billion in May 2019, recovering from a 4.6 percent drop in April. Sales of goods advanced 3.5 percent, boosted by machinery & transport equipment (7.9 percent), fuels (6.5 percent), material manufactures (5.1 percent), and miscellaneous manufactures (5.2 percent); while sales of chemicals plunged 11.8 percent. In addition, exports of services rose 1.1 percent.

Among major trading partners, goods exports to the EU jumped 8 percent, mostly to Germany (7.9 percent), the Netherlands (17.7 percent), Belgium (23.7 percent), Italy (0.4 percent), Poland (16.3 percent), and Denmark (15.6 percent). By contrast, sales fell to France (-1.1 percent), Ireland (-2.1 percent), Spain (-1.2 percent), and Sweden (-8.6 percent). Exports to non-EU countries dropped 0.5 percent, in particular to the US (-2.3 percent), China (-6.6 percent), Japan (-0.7 percent), Singapore (-6.8 percent), and Canada (-11.3 percent). On the other hand, increases were seen in exports to Hong Kong (24.5 percent), Switzerland (2.5 percent), the UAE (61.4 percent), and India (28.9 percent).

Imports to the UK fell 0.2 percent from a month earlier to GBP 56.71 billion, the second consecutive month of decline, as goods purchases dropped 0.6 percent, due to purchases of food & live animals (-2 percent), material manufactures (-1 percent), crude materials (-2.6 percent), and unspecified goods (-53.9 percent). On the other hand, increases were recorded in imports of fuels (19.9 percent), machinery & transport equipment (2.4 percent), chemicals (3.8 percent), and miscellaneous manufactures (0.6 percent). Services imports rose 0.7 percent.

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from the EU advanced by just 0.8 percent, as increases in purchases from Italy (0.9 percent), Spain (2.2 percent), Ireland (3.6 percent), Poland (7.2 percent) and Denmark (16.7 percent), were partially offset by declines in imports from Germany (-3.1 percent), the Netherlands (-5.7 percent), France (-0.3 percent), and Belgium (-3.9 percent). Meanwhile, purchases from non-EU countries slumped 2 percent, due to purchases from Japan (-1 percent), Canada (-45.2 percent), Russia (-35.6 percent), Switzerland (-27.6 percent), and Vietnam (-11.1 percent). Still, imports grew from China (3.5 percent), the US (1.3 percent), Norway (0.4 percent), and Turkey (5.6 percent).


ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
7/10/2019 10:12:21 AM



United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -2324.00 -3716.00 2946.00 -7026.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -30045.00 -23707.00 2654.00 -32163.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -3.90 -3.30 2.60 -5.20 percent [+]
Imports 56705.00 56838.00 62200.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 54381.00 53122.00 55669.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
External Debt 6432146.00 6621492.00 6621492.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Capital Flows 16784.00 34972.00 40569.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment -15010.00 15947.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 1117.00 1135.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.61 5.10 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1650.00 1150.00 3014.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2940.00 2200.00 4043.00 540.00 Thousand [+]
Weapons Sales 741.00 1235.00 5966.00 741.00 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 July of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-2324.00 -3716.00 2946.00 -7026.00 1955 - 2019 GBP Million Monthly




Country Last Previous
Argentina 1373.00 May/19
Australia 5745.00 May/19
Brazil 5020.00 Jun/19
Canada 762.30 May/19
China 509.76 Jun/19
Euro Area 23033.60 May/19
France -3278.00 May/19
Germany 20600.00 May/19
India -15280.00 Jun/19
Indonesia 196.00 Jun/19
Italy 5347.00 May/19
Japan 589.46 Jun/19
Mexico 1030.71 May/19
Netherlands 5579.00 May/19
Russia 11823.00 May/19
Saudi Arabia 131636.00 Mar/19
Singapore 2447.29 Jun/19
South Africa 1737.21 May/19
South Korea 4168.00 Jun/19
Spain -1605300.00 Apr/19
Switzerland 3251.00 Jun/19
Turkey -1837.83 May/19
United Kingdom -2324.00 May/19
United States -55520.00 May/19


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