09/02/12

  • UK trade deficit in goods and services down to £1.1bn in December 2011, from £2.8bn in November

Commenting on the trade figures for December 2011, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The figures for December show a large narrowing in the trade deficit to its smallest level since April 2003. While we should not give too much weight to one month’s figures, this is still a welcome development and supports our view that a recession is unlikely. Although the re-balancing of the economy towards exports is moving slowly, it is reassuring that we are heading in the right direction.

“Given the problems facing the world economy and the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone, British exporters will face a challenge to keep their positions in international markets. As the government perseveres with measures to reduce the deficit, it is clear that exports will be one of the main engines of our recovery. We now need to see a powerful national export drive with more support for businesses in areas such as trade finance, insurance and promotion.

“While low interest rates and a competitive pound will help, more must be done to ensure that British firms can compete on equitable terms. On their part, British exporters must reinforce their efforts to break into faster growing economies such as India, China and Brazil.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

ONS figures here.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk