Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Trade gap widens

The trade numbers for December last year are out. Turns out we exported lots of services during the month but imported a greater value of goods. Specifically:

Services: +£4.0bn
Goods: -£7.3bn
Balance: -£3.3bn

That is, we were £3.3bn in the red. Here's a graphical representation of our trade balance over the last couple of decades:


So as you can see, services, ie the City, are generally positive but we alway have a net outflow of wealth thanks to our habit of buying foreign goods, starting with 40% of the food we eat.

We haven't actually had a genuine sustained positive trade balance since the early 1980s.

ONS

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