Q3 trade stats show positive bounceback after Q2

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Trade statistics have been published today with some positive movements in numbers in Q3 after the numbers in Q2 showed the overall trade deficit increasing.

Overall, the UK deficit in goods in 2012Q3 was down £2.7bn on the quarter at £25.4bn compared with a deficit of £28.1bn in Q2. Goods exports were up 2.6% on the quarter with goods imports down 0.7%.

Manufacturing had a pretty good month in September too driven by buoyant sales of chemicals to Europe and continued growth in capital goods exports to non-EU markets.

Both EU and non-EU good exports were also up on the quarter at 2.2% for EU and 3% for non-EU. As usual there is a varied picture looking at individual markets; exports to France and the US increased again after a fall in Q2 and goods exports to China have grown in four out of the past five quarter.

Back in August, we said that 2012Q3 will need to see a bounce back after Q2 so positive news that this has happened given the goal of doubling exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

That said, more export driven growth is what our economy really needs at the moment – a job made more difficult by continuing problems in Europe. The Chancellor's Autumn statement in a few weeks time needs to focus minds across all government departments on growing the number of companies investing and exporting in the UK.

On a side note... UKTI has recently launched a new website, Open to Export, providing a digital community for SMEs wanting to access export related guidance, support and tips. Businesses can ask questions with experts, service providers and peers providing advice and information as well as accessing articles on markets and viewing current opportunities. A useful online avenue of support and help for businesses wanting to grow by exporting.

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Senior Policy Researcher

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