Latest statistics on UK's trade performance and balance of payments

Download the full report

In 2019, the UK’s exports of goods and services totalled £700 billion and imports totalled £724 billion. The EU accounted for 43% of UK exports of goods and services and 51% of imports in 2019.

Overall, the UK imports more than it exports meaning that it runs a trade deficit. A deficit of £129 billion on trade in goods was partially offset by a surplus of £106 billion on trade in services in 2019. The overall trade deficit was £24 billion in 2019.

The UK had a trade deficit with the EU of £72 billion in 2019 and a trade surplus of £48 billion with non-EU countries.  

The trade balance with all countries decreased by £19.3 billion to a deficit of £4.5 billion in the three months to April compared with a £14.8 billion surplus in the previous three months. Exports decreased by 24.9% over this period. Imports decreased by 15.7% (both figures in cash terms). The data suggest evidence of the Covid-19-related impacts on trade.

Balance of trade

The current account, which includes investment income and transfers as well as trade, saw a deficit of £89 billion in 2019, compared with £83 billion in 2018. The current account deficit was 4.0% of GDP in 2019 compared with 3.9% in 2018. 

The current account deficit widened to £21.1 billion in Q1 2020 (3.8% of GDP), from a deficit of £9.2 billion (1.7% of GDP) in Q4 2019.

Download the full report