The deficit of trade in goods and services for May 2014 was £2.4 billion, compared with £2.1 billion in the previous month. The deficit on trade in goods was £9.2 billion in May 2014; the trade position reflects exports minus imports.
Exports of goods increased by 0.6% between April and May 2014 to £24.1 billion. The increase reflects a £0.2 billion rise in exports of semi-manufactured goods, specifically material manufactures which rose £0.1 billion from the previous month.
Imports of goods for the same period increased by 1.7% to £33.3 billion, reflecting a rise in imports of finished manufactured goods of £0.4 billion. Within finished manufactures, imports of aircraft rose £0.4 billion.
In May 2014, exports of goods to the European Union (EU) decreased by less than £0.1 billion to £12.2 billion; falls in the export of manufactured goods were almost entirely offset by a rise in exports of oil. Imports of goods from the EU increased by £0.3 billion to £17.4 billion.
In May 2014, exports of goods to countries outside of the EU increased by £0.2 billion to £11.9 billion. In contrast with trade with the EU, exports of manufactured goods rose from the previous month and were partially offset by a fall in exports of oil. Imports from countries outside of the EU increased by £0.3 billion to £15.9 billion, reflecting an increase in imports of semi-manufactured goods.
Trade statistics for any one month can be erratic. For that reason, it is recommended to compare the latest three months against the preceding three months and the same three months of the preceding year.
The deficit on trade in goods widened by £0.4 billion to £26.3 billion in the three months to May 2014, compared with the previous three months. Exports of goods increased by £0.1 billion to £72.6 billion in the three months to May 2014, reflecting increases in exports of cars, jewellery and ships. Imports of goods increased by £0.5 billion to £98.9 billion in the same period.
In the three months to May 2014, imports from the Irish Republic decreased by £0.9 billion to £2.4 billion; the lowest level reached since the three months to April 2004. Over the same period imports from China increased £1.1 billion to £10.0 billion, a record high.
Source: Office for National Statistics
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