International trade minister Dr Liam Fox
With one year to go until Brexit, new trade figures reveal exports of UK goods and services have hit a new record high.
British exporters have helped give the economy a much welcome lift after new figures released today (29 Mar) showed global demand for UK goods and services is growing.
Data released from the Office for National Statistics shows in 2017, UK goods and services exports increased faster than imports - up 12.1% and 9.3%.
A drive in goods exports - up 13.4% - was due largely to demand for manufactured goods, and a rise in services exports - up 10.7% - was mainly driven for demand in UK business services. As a result the trade deficit narrowed significantly by £12.1bn to £28.6bn from £40.7bn.
Non-EU countries continue to be the main destination for services exports (£171.4bn), making up 61.3% of all services exports.
Overall, UK exports of goods and services have increased by 12.1% to £622.1bn.
Annually, the UK’s current account deficit was £82.9 billion (4.1% of GDP) in 2017, a narrowing of £30.7bn from a deficit of £113.6bn in 2016; this is the narrowest deficit as a percentage of GDP since 2011 when it was 2.4%.
International trade secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “More than one year on since the EU referendum, there are strong reasons for the UK to be optimistic.
“UK exports of goods and services have increased over the year and the UK deficit on trade in goods and services narrowed significantly.
“It’s clear evidence that UK companies are succeeding on the world stage, and as an international economic department we are banging the drum for the growing demand for our goods and services.”
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