· UK trade deficit in goods and services was £4.5 billion in July 2016, a decline of £1.1 billion from June 2016.
· Exports increased by £0.8 billion and imports decreased by £0.3 billion.
Commenting on the UK trade figures for July 2016, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“July’s welcome improvement in the UK’s trade position only partly reverses the decline seen in the previous month, leaving the trade deficit nearly double the long-term average. The UK’s external position remains an important cause for concern.
“It is still too early to draw firm conclusions on the effects of the EU referendum on overseas trade. For now, the UK's near-term trade prospects will be largely determined by how much the benefits of lower sterling for exporters are offset by higher input costs.
“Over the long-term, the UK’s trade position will be driven by how successful the government is in delivering the best possible terms of trade for the future, both with the EU and with markets further afield. However, as the government begins to renegotiate the UK’s global trade position, it is vital that the Autumn Statement is used to improve support for those firms looking to access new markets – and a competitive business environment here at home.”