Exports soar despite drop in trade with the rest of EU

Ben Southwood
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THE UK’S trade deficit narrowed in May, with exports soaring, according to the data released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The deficit in goods was down to £8.4bn, from £9.7bn in April, and the surplus in services remained unchanged at £5.6bn, so that the current account showed a deficit of £2.7bn, compared to £4.1bn shown in the previous month.

Nida Ali at the Ernst & Young ITEM club said: “The recent trade data has been particularly noisy and although the May deficit was much narrower than in April, it just took us back to where we were in the first quarter.”

“Looking through the monthly volatility, it is clear that the Eurozone woes are having a major impact on our exporters,” she went on to add.

Total trade was up on the month – excluding erratic items such as oil, exports climbed 6.6 per cent, while imports edged up one per cent. But goods exports to the EU were down over four per cent in value in the three months to May.