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02 November 2017

The Telegraph: UK trade deficit has widened, as businesses seek to sell services beyond Europe

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France, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands were the most important eurozone markets for UK services in the first half of the year, new official data has revealed.

In a new series of quarterly data, the Office for National Statistics has shown which countries had the biggest appetites for UK services in the three months to June.

The US, at £8.4bn worth of exports, was the single largest market, but the overall value of exports to the combined eurozone, including Germany at £2.5bn and the Netherlands at £2.3bn, dwarfs that of the US; the eurozone accounts for £14bn of exports for the three months to June this year.

While the data excludes banking, other key financial services such as commodities trading and insurance were represented in the figures.

This report, which offers a far more up-to-date snapshot of the services economy, comes after the pink book – the annual summary of the UK’s balance of payments, money coming in and going out of the country – revealed the country's trade deficit had widened to 2.2pc of GDP in 2016, meaning imports outstripped exports by the greatest level for six years.

China and Hong Kong accounted for £1.8bn worth of service exports in the second quarter of 2017, and efforts to capitalise on these markets are being explored at pace, a report released on Thursday by the Confederation of British Industry, has found.

The UK was the eighth biggest source of foreign direct investment among developed economies in the past decade, and, as China seeks to diverge from its history as a leading exporter of goods towards a more service driven economy, the UK has a significant role to play, according to the industry body. [...]

Full article on The Telegraph

© The Telegraph

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