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

“These figures are mixed and in line with expectations. It is disappointing that exports fell slightly, but imports fell even more, and overall the result was an improvement in the net trade position.   

“While this is positive, the improvement this year is by no means sufficient, and it is critical that the relatively strong manufacturing figures we have seen recently should be translated into a much stronger trading position. 

“With the forthcoming spending cuts set to dampen domestic demand, the UK economy risks declines without significant growth in our net exports. The Government must make sure that our exporters are not placed at a competitive disadvantage in key areas such as short-term trade finance. On their part, British exporters must reinforce their efforts to diversify into emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil.”