Recovery Hopes Dampened By Export Data

12 April 2012 17:00 - Florence Fullalove

    



Recovery Hopes Dampened By Export Data

Figures released today from the Office for National Statistics showed a sharp fall in exports to countries outside of Europe. The trade deficit on goods and services rose to £3.4 billion in February, up from £2.5 billion in January and considerably bigger than the £2 billion expected by economists. The goods trade deficit grew to £8.8 billion in February from £7.9 billion in January.

Exports of goods to non-EU countries fell 8.8% to £11.7 billion, while imports rose 1% to £16.7 billion. This leads to a trade deficit with countries outside of the European single market of £5 billion. The decrease in exports was mainly driven by a £403 million fall in the export of cars and heavy machinery in the first quarter of this year particularly to the U.S, Russia and China.

Vicky Redwood, Capital Economics chief UK economist said, “With sentiment towards the euro-zone fading again, we think that export growth to Europe is likely to weaken soon too. Indeed, survey measures of overall orders are pointing to stagnant exports at best.” She added, “Barring a sharp narrowing in March, the deficit in Q1 as a whole will be about £2 billion bigger than recorded in Q4, Accordingly, it looks like net trade will have been a drag on GDP growth in Q1.”

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Related Links :
Office for National Statistics - UK Trade, February 2012
Capital Economics - Official website

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