ONS results reveal UK trade deficit rose by £1m in May

Chambers demand urgent action to help Britain’s exporters

Britain’s trade deficit rose by £1bn in May – and now a leading trade body is calling for urgent action from the government to reverse the slide.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), released today, reveal that the UK’s goods and services trade arrears increased to £4.1bn in May, up from £3.1bn in April.

In response, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that net exports must “become the main engine of Britain’s economic recovery,” and the government must rethink its approach to trade finance, protection and insurance to help exporters.

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said:  

“The government’s deficit cuts are continuing to put pressure on domestic demand. As well as stronger exports, we also need to see UK firms replacing imports in the domestic market by buying more of our own goods and services.

“While low interest rates and a competitive pound will help exporting companies, more must be done to deregulate the labour market and to ensure UK businesses can compete on equitable terms.”

The BCC has also published its own study, which reveals that confidence levels remained weak across Britain’s business landscape, and the recovery remains “fragile”.


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