Services sector to prop up UK’s trade balance for years to come

THE UK’s services firms are set for robust export growth in the next five years, with the sector’s trade surplus forecast to swell in the years ahead.

Of the advanced economies, only Japan will surpass the UK’s export growth in the next five years, according to a report today from EY’s Item Club. Outward trade for the sector is forecast to rise by 7.2 per cent per year until 2018.

Japan will see 7.6 per cent growth, but Britain’s projected expansion is much faster than the US, Germany or other European countries. The study suggests that the UK will easily keep its second-place rank for services exports among countries in the Organisation for Economics Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The UK already has a large surplus in export trade which has climbed in recent years – from below two per cent of GDP at the turn of the century, to just shy of five per cent today. According to the research, it should climb to six per cent by 2018.

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