Growing trade deficit highlights challenges facing UK exporters

The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £2.5bn in June 2014, compared with £2.4bn in May 2014

There was a deficit of £9.4bn on goods, partly offset by a surplus of £7.0bn on services

Exports and imports of goods both fell in June but a decline in exports was greater

The UK trade deficit has grown from £5.5bn in Q1 2014, to £6.9bn in Q2 2014


Commenting on the UK trade statistics for June 2014, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

It is disappointing that the trade deficit widened again in June. While the decline was only slight, the increase in Q2 could partly reverse the improvements seen in the previous two quarters. Weaknesses in the global economy are still a problem and the challenges facing UK exporters are being made even greater by the strengthening pound.  

These figures confirm that the pace of the UK’s rebalancing towards net exports is far too slow, and if this continues we risk missing out on the Prime Minister’s target of increasing exports to £1tn by 2020. If we in Britain are serious about rebalancing our economy, we must invest even more in supporting and promoting international trade. On its part, the MPC must resist calls for early interest rate rises and reassure businesses that when rates start rising, increases will be modest and gradual to avoid any unwelcome surprises.”