Export dashboard: Quarterly data shows overseas goods trade is strengthening

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The Telegraph's monthly Export Dashboard, put together with in conjunction with EEF, was published today. The dashboard provides a snapshot of what is happening to exports and looks not just at the value of exports over a three month period but also at how EU and non-EU export values compare and how manufacturers see exports changing in 2014.

What can we say about this month's trade statistics?Analysis first published in today's Telegraph

Figures published last week showed slight deterioration in the trade deficit, which increased from £10.4 billion in the three months to October 2013 to £10.5 billion in the three months to November 2013. This increase was largely driven by a fall in the services surplus and was only partially offset by a small improvement in the goods deficit.

Beneath these headline figures we see that while goods exports fell in November compared with October, the more stable three monthly figures shows exports strengthening £100 million to £75.2 billion between September and November 2013 compared with the three months to October. A fall was seen in exports to the EU but non-EU markets saw goods exports increase over the three month period.

Digging down yet another layer shows continued variation in performance by market. Trade with China reached a record high, with exports rising 2.4% to £3.3 billion in the period September to November 2013, and South Korea also saw a big increase in exports. Falls were seen in exports to the US, Canada, Norway and Hong Kong. In the EU, the biggest rises in exports in the three months to November 2013 were to Spain, Italy, Germany and Ireland, but these were more than offset by falls in exports to the Netherlands and Sweden.

Despite the mixed picture by market, the outlook for trade gives reasons to be positive and suggests we will see a continuation of the longer term trend of overall export growth.

EEF's recently published Executive Survey 2014, in partnership with Aldermore, shows that manufacturers see opportunities in overseas markets and are expecting all geographical areas, on balance, to grow in 2014. This is expected to feed through into export sales – 55% of manufacturing executives expect export sales to increase in 2014 compared with 12% who are predicting sales overseas to fall.


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