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In 2021, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £654 billion and imports totalled £682 billion. The EU accounted for 42% of UK exports of goods and services and 46% of imports in 2021.

The UK generally imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A deficit of £169 billion on trade in goods was offset by a surplus of £141 billion on trade in services in 2021. The overall trade deficit was £28 billion in 2021.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £43 billion in 2021 and a trade surplus of £15 billion with non-EU countries.

The trade deficit with all countries decreased by £6.5 billion in the three months to November 2022 to £20.2 billion, compared to the previous three months. Exports increased by 0.3% in cash terms over this period while imports fell by 2.6%.

UK trade balance

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £34 billion in 2021 compared with a deficit of £68 billion in 2020. The current account deficit was 1.5% of GDP in 2021 compared with 3.2% in 2020.

The current account deficit was £19.4 billion in Q3 2022 (3.1% of GDP), compared with a deficit of £35.1 billion (5.7% of GDP) in Q2 2022.


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