Goods exports across all four UK nations rose once more in 2019 ending a strong year heading into the current period of pandemic uncertainty for businesses.
HMRC reported that, over the 12 months, international sales of goods from England rose 2% to £254bn. Scotland saw the largest growth at 4.4% to £33.6bn whilst Wales saw sales increase 3% to £17.7bn. Northern Ireland also saw strong sales totalling £9.1bn – a 2.2% rise.
The total number of exporting businesses increased by 2.6% to over 160,000. Click here to read the full report.
Positive for UK firms as the Brexit transition period began was that demand for UK goods is increasingly coming from countries outside of the EU with the USA remaining the largest export partner in terms of value. Scotland saw highest demand growth from China.
The performance of exporting businesses across the four nations has defied expectations over the last four years, riding out Brexit uncertainty to see record sales in both goods and services. However, the current coronavirus pandemic is a challenge that few firms would have seen coming and will provide the sternest test yet of organisations large and small – here in the UK and around the world.
Next up: how worried should exporting businesses be by Coronavirus?