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Summary: UK Trade, February 2014

Released: 09 April 2014 Download PDF

Correction

ONS has suspended the publication of expenditure estimates for UK residents’ visits abroad and overseas residents’ visits to the UK within the September 2014 Overseas Travel and Tourism release, published on 13 November 2014, due to an error identified within the series. This error affects expenditure estimates for January to September 2014 and has resulted in the UK Statistics Authority suspending the National Statistics designation of the expenditure series within the Overseas Travel and Tourism releases until the figures have been corrected.

These data feed into the UK Trade release as imports and exports of services and the errors led the UK Statistics Authority to suspend the National Statistics designation of UK Trade on 14 November 2014 following a request from the National Statistician.

Corrected expenditure estimates for UK residents’ visits abroad and overseas residents’ visits to the UK will be published for all months, January to September 2014, and Quarter 1 and 2, as soon as possible. Please note that the UK Trade time series data are also affected by this error and will be updated with the corrected data when it becomes available. ONS will announce the timetable for the publishing of corrected figures prior to their release. The ONS statement regarding this error can be found here.

Figure 1: Balance of UK Trade

Figure 1: Balance of UK Trade
Source: Office for National Statistics

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The deficit of trade in goods and services for February 2014 was £2.1 billion, compared with a deficit of £2.2 billion in the previous month. The deficit on trade in goods was £9.1 billion in February 2014; the trade position reflects exports minus imports.

Exports of goods decreased by 1.6% between January and February 2014 to £23.5 billion. Imports for the same period decreased by 2.2% to £32.6 billion; roughly three-quarters of this movement is attributed to a fall in the import of erratics, which decreased by 34.5% from the previous month. Erratics are defined as ships, aircraft, precious stones and silver. Removing the impact of erratics, specifically imports of aircraft which decreased by 46.3% from the previous month, imports decreased by 0.6% between January and February 2014.

In February 2014, exports of goods to the European Union (EU) decreased by £0.3 billion to £11.7 billion; of which £0.3 billion was attributed to fuels and in particular, trade in oil. Imports from the EU increased by £0.3 billion to £17.8 billion, mainly due to imports of finished manufactures which rose £0.2 billion from the previous month.

In February 2014, exports of goods to countries outside of the EU decreased by less than £0.1 billion to £11.9 billion; an increase of £0.2 billion from exports of fuels was offset by decreases in all other key commodities. Imports from countries outside of the EU decreased by £1.0 billion to £14.8 billion. The decrease reflects falls in imports of finished manufactures (specifically aircraft) and imports of fuels (specifically oil).

The deficit on trade in goods narrowed by £3.0 billion to £26.2 billion in the three months ending February 2014, compared with the previous three months. Exports of goods decreased by 2.5% to £72.7 billion in the latest three months. Imports of goods decreased by 4.7% to £99.0 billion in the latest three months.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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