Hard work for exporters as the search for greener pastures continues

Hard work for exporters as the search for greener pastures continues

The UK's overall trade deficit fell to £2.4bn in January from £2.8bn in December, though the improvement resulted from a fall in imports, particularly oil, rather than an increase in exports. The value of goods and services exports fell 2.3% month on month, while imports fell 3.2% month on month.

While the weakening of sterling over recent months should help to boost the relative competitiveness of UK exports, the figures for January indicate the difficulties the UK is having in trying to boost exports to trade its way to economic recovery: export volumes fell 5.5% on the month.

But the export picture is not all bad. As Eurozone growth remains depressed, weighing on demand for imports, UK exporters are continuing to seek alternative export destinations.

As export volumes to other EU countries fell 2.9% for the three months to January compared to the previous three months, exports to non-EU countries rose 2.2%.

This continues a trend which has seen export volumes to non-EU countries rise more than 30% since 2009.



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