Trade figures published last week by the ONS showed that the UK trade deficit in goods and services was £2.3 billion in May 2016, a widening of £0.3 billion from April 2016.
Although it has narrowed since the start of the year, the widening of the UK’s trade deficit in May is disappointing. Taken together with the recent confirmation of a near record current account deficit, the figures paint a rather bleak picture of the UK’s external position.
While the significant decline in the value of sterling in the wake of the EU referendum will benefit some exporters in the coming months, a weak pound is something of a double-edged sword, as many UK exporters are also importers as a result of global supply chains and so will be facing higher input costs due to the weakening currency.
It is crucial that the government achieves the best possible trade arrangements with the EU and further afield. Chamber of Commerce stand ready to provide expert support to firms who are internationally active.