trade

The latest UK trade statistics from the ONS have brought the good news that the country’s trade deficit narrowed in February.

According to the ONS, this has been helped by aircraft and aircraft parts imports decreasing. The trade in goods deficit also came down from £9.46 billion to £9.1 billion. The overall trade deficit is now at £2.1 billion in comparison to £2.2 billion in January.

Service sector exports have also played their part as well. They hit an all-time high last quarter with current and predicted sales on the up.

The trade deficit has been falling quickly over the last year. In the three months leading up to February 2014 it halved from £8.4 billion to £4.8 billion.

While the latest stats are suggesting the country is carrying on in the same direction, they have warned against taking too much from monthly results “due to the impact of erratic commodities”. They suggest quarterly results offer more concrete conclusions.

There was some bad news though as UK exports generally are down. In the three months to the end of February they were down 2.5% proffering £72.7 billion. The total for February it self was £23.6 billion, the lowest any month has been since November 2010.

While this isn’t disastrous news, it does come at a time when the manufacturing and service sectors have both shown slowing growth recently. While they are not yet shrinking, it suggests we are still some way from a truly secure  recovery.

Image by Nicola Bernard Lepicie.