UK economy: Britain’s true strength exposed as trade data shatters gloomy forecasts | United Kingdom | news

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Statistics released today by the Department for International Trade (DIT) show that the value of all UK trade rose 15 percent in the year to June to a total of £1.4 billion. After the pandemic and an initial post-Brexit trade slump, Britain’s services surplus rebounded as the country attracted more money from foreign investors than any other country except the US.

For all the talk of a looming recession, chronically low productivity and runaway inflation, the UK remains one of the strongest and best-connected economies in the world.

The nominal GDP of the United Kingdom – the value of all goods and services produced in the country at current prices – was £2.86 trillion in 2022, the sixth largest economy in the world.

Corresponding Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).means that the UK’s economic output is larger than that of next-place France (£2.48 trillion) and Canada (£1.88 billion), behind only India, Germany, Japan, China and the US.

In the year to June 2022, the UK was the world’s fifth largest exporter of goods and services with a combined value of £666.7 billion DIT statistics released today.

The UK was also the sixth largest importer in the world, buying £752.5 billion worth of goods and services from abroad.

Liz Truss was Foreign Secretary throughout the UK’s exit from Brexit and the pandemic (Image: GETTY)

According to the UK exported slightly more goods (£348.5 billion) than services (£318.2 billion) in the year to June 2022. DIT data.

The UK’s top export partners were the US (£133.9 billion), Germany (£48.3 billion), Ireland (£45.1 billion), the Netherlands (£44.2 billion) and France (£33.3bn).

Some of the most exported British goods included mechanical power generators, crude oil, medicines and automobiles.

Consulting, business and research services dominated services exports, accounting for £126.8 billion in trade, followed by financial services at £61.3 billion.

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Port of Felixstowe

The Port of Felixstowe handles 36 per cent of UK containerized freight traffic (Image: GETTY)

On the import side, the UK buys significantly more goods from abroad (£565.6 billion) than services (£186.9 billion).

Last year, the UK’s closest import partners were the US (£89.4 billion), Germany (£67.3 billion), China (£66.3 billion), the Netherlands (£43.5 billion) and France ( 37.4 billion pounds).

The top imports were gas, cars, pharmaceuticals and oil.

The UK also attracted nearly £2 trillion in foreign direct investment – money flowing into the country from outside investors into British companies – making it the second most desirable destination for investor wealth in the world, behind only the US.

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Map of World Trade Agreements

The UK has up to 70 trade deals with countries around the world since Brexit (Image: GETTY)

The UK’s overall trade deficit – the difference between imports and exports – was at its highest level on record 25 years ago in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, the UK maintains a surplus in trade in services, of which it has long been the world’s second largest exporter behind the US.

This surplus has widened significantly over the past two decades, with services exports exceeding imports by £4.8 billion in early 1997 and rising to £34.7 billion today.

Natural gas, which is essential for heat and electricity generation, was the largest single import from the UK in the year to June 2022.

With gas demand picking up following the end of coronavirus restrictions in the second half of 2021 and exceptional energy price inflation in the first half of 2022, the £38 billion imported was almost eight times 2020 levels.

The UK imports around half of its gas from the international market, mostly from Norway, which accounted for 77 per cent of all UK gas imports in 2021.

Russia used to be the UK’s main supplier of refined oil, but by June 2022 the UK had achieved its policy goal of completely banning Russian fuel imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

Liz Truss in Boris Johnson's cabinet

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has remained loyal to Prime Minister Boris Johnson throughout his resignation scandal (Image: GETTY)

While Brexit initially appears to have hurt UK trade volumes, the numbers show a revival is already underway.

According to Eurostat, UK imports to the EU fell by 13.6 percent between 2020 and 2021, but increased by 12.5 percent last year.

Thanks to trade deals signed with non-EU partners since Brexit, many negotiated by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, UK exports to the rest of the world also rose 6.8 percent, while imports rose 25.6 percent.

In a speech about the Britain’s new trade policy Last year Ms Truss said: “Understandably, after almost fifty years in the protectionist EU, we have lost the trading memory that we had built up as a sovereign trading nation.

“But we rebuilt it: by negotiating our own trade deals, defending our key industries and being at the forefront.”

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