The Guardian datablog has a great infographic today showing the UK's key export markets, and what are biggest exports are.
The graphic shows that, despite spreading euro-sclerosis, in the last year UK exports to Germany and France grew strongly, and even exports to beleaguered Italy were up by an impressive 15.2%.
Even more impressive, however, are growth rates to non-EU countries, which hit a record high in October last year. The Guardian's graphic shows just how fast exports to some economies are growing, with exports to India up 45% in 12 months and exports to the UAE up by 24%.
Although emerging economies currently account for a lower proportion of exports than the eurozone, these growth rates reflect the fact that UK companies are taking advantage of new opportunities. This is important, as global growth is likely to be driven by emerging markets in the coming years and decades.
But how will non-EU markets perform in the year ahead?
The US is the UK's largest single export market, and after a weak 2011, signs for 2012 are a little better, such as the more promising recent labour market data. However, there are still some big issues for the US economy to overcome, not least reaching agreement on deficit reduction. With the upcoming election, political uncertainty could continue to cause problems for the economy. In addition problems in the Eurozone could affect growth in the US, given significant trade links
Emerging economies in Asia also rely heavily on demand from European consumers, so growth here is not immune to problems in the euro area. Activity indicators such as the PMI have suggested slowing growth, even in powerhouses such as India and China. However, in China in particular, there is scope to increase domestic consumption, which could bolster growth against problems in Europe.