Fall in trade deficit welcome, but momentum must be sustained

12th August 2013

UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £1.

5bn in June compared with a deficit of £2.6bn in May There was a deficit of £8.1bn on goods, partly offset by a surplus of £6.5bn in services: both the goods and the service trade balances improved between May and June There was a significant improvement in Britain's performance on trade in goods with countries outside the European Union  Commenting on the trade figures for June published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: -The large fall in Britain's trade deficit is yet more positive news for the economy, with longer-term comparisons signaling an improvement in the UK's trading performance. Britain's exporters are now starting to focus more on trade with countries outside the EU. This is particularly encouraging as these countries are growing at a faster rate and will be the ones that provide the greatest opportunities for UK firms. -Despite these improvements, our trade deficit is still too large and we aren't making enough progress in rebalancing our economy towards net exports. Our recent surveys reveal huge untapped potential among British exporters, especially in the service sector, and unleashing this potential will help to secure a sustainable recovery. The government must seize this momentum and do more to help British exporters penetrate new markets and compete on a level playing field in key areas such as trade finance, insurance and promotion.

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