The latest economic data from the Office for National Statistics has shown the value of UK exports rising as the trade deficit narrows.
As part of the ONS’ economic update, showing GDP returning to growth of 0.2% in April and 0.1% in Q1 overall, data highlighted how the value of UK exports rose in April alone by £1bn or 3.4%. Imports decreased by 1.4% (£0.7bn) at the same time, leaving the trade deficit at £12.3bn.
The deficit for goods narrowed by £107bn to £52.5bn, whilst the service industry continued to thrive with a surplus increasing £1.9bn to £49.3bn.
The ONS suggested that strong service-sector performance was the key reason why, overall, the economy stayed in the black during Q1 and returned to growth, masking falls in production output and a 0.6% reduction in construction activity.
Brexit causing drag on exports
Despite some more optimistic data from the ONS, the exports industry is still struggling to adapt to the post-Brexit business environment.
A report released this week from the UN suggests that all other G7 countries, aside from Japan, have outpaced the UK exports market. In fact, goods and services exports in the EU grew by over 29% between 2012 and 2021. In the UK, that figure was just 6%.
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