Commenting on the UK trade figures for July, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 

“These figures are worse than expected, showing a small fall in exports and a rise in imports. Although longer-term comparisons for this year still show that the trend in exports is up, July’s disappointing figures highlight the importance of supporting Britain’s exporters. 

“A major improvement in our trading position remains a key element in any successful economic strategy. With public spending cuts set to dampen domestic demand, the UK economy risks declines without significant growth in our net exports.    

“The Government must ensure that UK exporters are not placed at a competitive disadvantage in key areas such as short-term trade finance. On their part, British exporters must increase efforts to diversify into fast growing emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.”