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In 2019, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £691 billion and imports totalled £721 billion. The EU accounted for 43% of UK exports of goods and services and 52% of imports in 2019.

The UK generally imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A deficit of £131 billion on trade in goods was partially offset by a surplus of £100 billion on trade in services in 2019. The overall trade deficit was £31 billion in 2019.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £79 billion in 2019 and a trade surplus of £49 billion with non-EU countries.  

The trade surplus with all countries decreased to £8.6 billion in the three months to September compared with a £9.5 billion surplus in the previous three months. Exports increased by 6.9% over this period. Imports increased by 8% (both figures in cash terms).

UK balance of trade monthly

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £95 billion in 2019, compared with £79 billion in 2018. The current account deficit was 4.3% of GDP in 2019 compared with 3.7% in 2018.

The current account deficit narrowed substantially to £2.8 billion in Q2 2020 (0.6% of GDP), from a deficit of £20.8 billion (3.7% of GDP) in Q1 2020.

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