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In 2020, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £574 billion and imports totalled £586 billion. The EU accounted for 42% of UK exports of goods and services and 50% of imports in 2020.

The UK generally imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A deficit of £119 billion on trade in goods was partially offset by a surplus of £107 billion on trade in services in 2020. The overall trade deficit was £12 billion in 2020.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £51 billion in 2020 and a trade surplus of £43 billion with non-EU countries.

The trade deficit with all countries increased to £5.8 billion in the three months to July compared with a £2.9 billion deficit in the previous three months. Exports increased by 2.9% in cash terms over this period and imports increased by 4.8%.

UK balance of trade monthly

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £74 billion in 2020, compared with £69 billion in 2019. The current account deficit was 3.5% of GDP in 2020 compared with 3.1% in 2019.

The current account deficit was £12.8 billion in Q1 2021 (2.4% of GDP), compared with a deficit of £26.3 billion (4.8% of GDP) in Q4 2020.


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