Boosting Exports Must be a National Economic Priority, says BCC

10th January 2014

·         The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £3.

2bn in November 2013, compared with a deficit of £3.5bn in October 2013, but the October deficit was revised up sharply from the £2.6bn initially estimated ·         There was a deficit of £9.4bn on goods in November, partly offset by a surplus of £6.2bn on services ·         Imports from the EU increased to £19.2bn in November, a record high ·         In the three months to November 2013, exports of goods were 1.5% higher than in the same three months of 2012, but imports of goods were 2.2% higher   Commenting on the UK trade figures for November 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:   -Although there was a small fall in the trade deficit, these figures are disappointing, and indicate a large deficit in the fourth quarter. However, it is not entirely surprising our economy is growing at a faster pace than those of our major trading partners in Western Europe, and imports tend to increase in such circumstances. Longer term comparisons show that exports are increasing, but this is at a slower pace than is needed.   -Boosting exports must be a national economic priority, particularly when it comes to diversifying our exports towards faster-growing economies outside the EU. Even within Europe, there is scope to do this, as central and eastern European economies such as Poland are growing faster than our traditional trading partners. More support for SMEs looking to trade internationally is needed, and this means giving UK businesses more resources in areas such as trade finance, insurance and promotion.

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