United Kingdom Balance of Trade  1955-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar

The total UK trade deficit narrowed by GBP 0.3 billion to GBP 2.79 billion in May 2018 from a downwardly revised GBP 3.09 billion in the previous month. Exports rose 2.8 percent to GBP 51.85 billion and imports increased at a softer 2.1 percent to an all-time high of GBP 54.64 billion. Balance of Trade in the United Kingdom averaged -1398.75 GBP Million from 1955 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2946 GBP Million in March of 1981 and a record low of -5749 GBP Million in October of 2013.

United Kingdom Balance of Trade
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UK Trade Deficit Narrows in May


The total UK trade deficit narrowed by GBP 0.3 billion to GBP 2.79 billion in May 2018 from a downwardly revised GBP 3.09 billion in the previous month.

Exports of goods and services from the UK increased 2.8 percent to GBP 51.85 billion in May from GBP 50.41 billion in the previous month, due to higher sales of goods (4.1 percent), in particular fuels (8 percent), machinery & transport equipment (6.5 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (3.5 percent) and chemicals (2.3 percent). Also, exports of services advanced 1.4 percent.

Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU went up 0.6 percent, as sales increased mainly to Germany (2.8 percent), France (7 percent), Ireland (5.3 percent) and Italy (0.3 percent); while there was a decline in exports to the Netherlands (-9.6 percent), Belgium (-3.1 percent) and Spain (-0.4 percent). Also, sales to non-EU countries jumped 7.7 percent, namely to the US (11.3 percent), China (38.6 percent), Canada (16.9 percent) and Switzerland (30.7 percent). Exports were lower for Hong Kong (-14 percent), South Korea (-13.8 percent) and Japan (-2.4 percent).

Imports rose at a softer 2.1 percent to an all-time high of GBP 54.64 billion in May from GBP 54.64 billion in the previous month. The increase was driven by a 2.7 percent rise in purchases of goods, mainly fuels (8.6 percent), material manufactures (7.4 percent), food & live animals (5.5 percent), chemicals (4.4 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (2.6 percent), and machinery & transport equipment (2 percent). Also, there was a 0.4 percent gain in imports of services.

Among trading partners, imports of goods from the EU grew 4.1 percent, mainly from Germany (1.1 percent), Belgium (16.1 percent), Spain (2.3 percent) and Ireland (1.6 percent). However, there was a decline in imports from the Netherlands (-0.6 percent), France (-1.7 percent) and Italy (-0.9 percent). In addition, purchases from non-EU countries went up 1 percent, as imports increased the most from the US (1.8 percent), China (2.9 percent) and India (15.6 percent); while those from Norway (-7.4 percent), Japan (-6.5 percent) and Turkey (-7.2 percent) dropped sharply.

In the three months to May 2018, the trade deficit widened GBP 5.0 billion to GBP 8.3 billion. This was due to a GBP 5.0 billion widening of the trade in goods deficit, resulting from a combination of falling goods exports (GBP 3.1 billion) and rising goods imports (GBP 1.9 billion). Services imports and exports mostly offset each other as both increased by around GBP 0.5 billion, resulting in a relatively small decline in the trade in services surplus.


ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
7/10/2018 11:10:24 AM



Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-05-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-3.091B £-1.176B £-2B £-2.9B
2018-06-11 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-5.28B £-3.22B £-2.5B £-3.6B
2018-07-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.79B £-3.087B £-2.2B
2018-08-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.79B £ -3B
2018-09-11 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-2.3B
2018-10-10 08:30 AM Balance of Trade £-1.8B


United Kingdom Trade Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Balance of Trade -2790.00 -3087.00 2946.00 -5749.00 GBP Million [+]
Exports 51846.00 50411.00 52952.00 962.00 GBP Million [+]
Imports 54636.00 53498.00 54636.00 1031.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account -17720.00 -19537.00 2654.00 -32163.00 GBP Million [+]
Current Account to GDP -4.10 -5.80 2.60 -5.80 percent [+]
External Debt 6412914.00 6385526.00 6428718.00 565439.00 GBP Million [+]
Terms of Trade 101.80 101.60 107.60 80.10 Index Points [+]
Capital Flows 3074.00 24382.00 42878.00 -15043.00 GBP Million [+]
Foreign Direct Investment -3896.00 8667.00 82539.00 -44536.00 GBP Million [+]
Gold Reserves 310.30 310.30 588.27 310.25 Tonnes [+]
Crude Oil Production 955.00 955.00 2821.00 1.00 BBL/D/1K [+]
Terrorism Index 5.10 5.08 5.68 4.19 [+]
Tourism Revenues 1560.00 1790.00 2938.00 126.00 GBP Million [+]
Tourist Arrivals 2590.00 3050.00 4020.00 540.00 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 July of 2018.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-2790.00 -3087.00 2946.00 -5749.00 1955 - 2018 GBP Million Monthly




balance of trade by Country
Country Last
Australia 827.00 May/18
Brazil 5881.58 Jun/18
Canada -2771.20 May/18
China 416.13 Jun/18
Euro Area 16514.10 May/18
France -6005.00 May/18
Germany 19669.00 May/18
India -16600.00 Jun/18
Indonesia 1742.60 Jun/18
Italy 3377.54 May/18
Japan -578.32 May/18
Mexico -1587.00 May/18
Netherlands 5030.00 May/18
Russia 15151.00 May/18
South Korea 6331.21 Jun/18
Spain -3050045.00 Apr/18
Switzerland 2255.00 May/18
Turkey -7759.34 May/18
United Kingdom -2790.00 May/18
United States -43053.00 May/18


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