• UK trade deficit in goods and services was £2.7bn in May, compared with a deficit of £4.1bn in April

Commenting on the trade figures for May 2012, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“The trade deficit shrank in May, with underlying export volumes increasing by 6.6% on the month, and imports rising by only 1%. We shouldn’t place too much emphasis on one month’s figures, but the strong improvement in May comes after a disappointing figure in April. Unusually, UK exports to non-EU countries were higher than exports to the EU. This shows that exporters are adjusting to global reality, as growth in the eurozone continues to stagnate, and the main opportunities for our exporters will remain outside Europe.

“So far, the rebalancing of the UK economy towards exports has been too slow. But if this positive trend continues, the unjustified pessimism surrounding the economy will be dispelled. British exporters have huge untapped potential, but they need the government to do more to help them compete globally. Bold action in areas such as trade finance and insurance, the creation of a business bank and commitments to improve infrastructure would help to drive growth in UK exports.”


Notes to editors:

ONS: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/uktrade/uk-trade/may-2012/index.html

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. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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