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Economy in Brief

After a SURGE, UK Export and Import Growth Plummeted and Has Begun to Recover
by Robert Brusca August 9, 2007

The UK trade balance has remained fairly stable through all this volatility.

The shorter growth horizons show that export growth has started to pick up at a fast pace than import growth. Yr/Yr exports are off a bit more than imports, but over the past 3-6 months they are up at a much faster pace and accelerating. Export growth is stronger across road vehicles, basic materials and firmer for capital goods. For food, beverages and tobacco, flows are still weak and dropping.

For imports, basic materials are strong and so are road vehicles, but vehicle imports have slowed somewhat. Food, beverages and tobacco imports are steady. Capital goods imports have slowed their decline. Overall imports are lower over three months at a 1% pace and up over six months by just 1.8%.

The slowing in imports has allowed the strength in exports to bolster the trade position in general. In June the deficit improved slightly to -£6.27bln compared to -£6.44bln in May.

UK Trade trends for goods
  m/m% % Saar
  Jun-07 May-07 3M 6M 12M
Balance* -££ 6.27 -££ 6.44 -££ 6.61 -££ 6.78 -££ 6.72
Exports
All Exports 4.9% 4.6% 19.3% 10.6% -13.3%
Capital goods 3.2% 4.3% 3.3% -21.0% -52.0%
Road Vehicles 5.3% 0.2% 32.8% 17.1% 6.2%
Basic Materials -1.4% 5.7% 67.9% 41.0% 15.4%
Food Beverages & Tobacco -9.1% 9.5% -21.0% -4.4% -0.8%
IMPORTS
All Imports 2.9% 0.5% -1.0% 1.8% -11.9%
Capital goods 4.0% -1.7% -9.7% -26.3% -52.7%
Road Vehicles 3.7% 6.9% 18.8% 36.6% 12.3%
Basic Materials 1.2% 2.7% 46.3% 15.3% 22.7%
Food Beverages & Tobacco -1.5% -0.4% 4.4% 3.0% 4.9%
*Stg Blns; mo or period average
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