BCC: Hard work ahead to turn around trading performance

The UK’s improved trade deficit for December wasn’t enough to improve last year’s figures as a whole.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday showed the deficit last month was £2.7bn, a narrowing of £1.3bn from November 2015.

A fall in goods imports was largely responsible for the deficit narrowing in December but the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned more needs to be done.

“Despite an improvement in the UK’s trade deficit in December, it still worsened in 2015 as a whole compared with 2014,” said David Kern, the BCC’s chief economist.

“While the deficit in goods worsened over the long term, there has been a gradual improvement in our surplus in services.

“Much more needs to be done to improve our trading position, with particular emphasis on helping small businesses to start exporting, as well as helping firms to break into new export markets.”

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