The UK trade deficit widened by £2bn between May and June 2017
Let’s talk about the UK trade deficit. Imports to the UK are not keeping pace with exports according to official numbers released by the UK Government this month. And that could develop into a bigger problem as the Brexit wrangles continue.
According to the official release from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the trade deficit nearly doubled in the May June period. As they say: “The UK’s total trade deficit (goods and services) widened by £2.0 billion between May and June 2017 to £4.6 billion, due to increases in imports of both goods and services; erratic commodities had little impact within the total trade balance on the month.”
Ian Cass of the Forum for Private Business says the government is focusing too much on Brexit and not giving SMEs the help and tools they need to keep going and warns that tough time lie ahead. He says: “The latest data covering manufacturing, productivity and trade, together with the Bank of England’s Inflation Report, are all telling us that businesses are likely to face difficult economic times in the coming two years. Yet the Government appears to have just one thing on its agenda – Brexit. Many businesses have the impact of increased business rates to contend with, but the Government website to help with appeals is not working. Many businesses are also facing upheaval to comply with the new Data Protection requirements, which are being rushed through to align with European rules, but with no clarity on how they will affect them.”
Clearly UK businesses are facing a stressful time and Brexit uncertainty doesn’t help and an economic slowdown does seem to be on the cards. But here at Tamebay we strike a more hopeful tone as a general rule. It seems to us that the current situation, especially with the weakness of sterling, is ripe for marketplace sellers to make new efforts to embrace international selling within and outside the EU.
The weakness of Sterling is not something to celebrate; it reflects on a sick economy.