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January 12, 2010    

UK exports jump in November, boost hopes of end to recession

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by Kay Murchie

Further good news for the UK economy emerged today after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said exports in November soared to £20.2 billion - the highest since October 2008.

The rise was fuelled by sales of consumer goods and chemicals, according to the ONS.

The ONS said that Britain’s global goods trade gap narrowed from £7 billion in October to £6.8 billion in November.

The reduction in the deficit was boosted by a sharp fall in imports of £200 million (0.8%) to £27 billion.

Philip Shaw, an analyst at Investec, comments: “A narrowing trade balance is consistent with a rebalancing of the external and internal sectors of the economy and it’s certainly a trend which we hope is maintained over the next couple of years.”

The figures will boost hopes that the economy has exited recession and follows positive economic data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) who announced today that the High Street experienced the strongest December for eight years.

According to the BRC, like-for-like sales grew 4.2% by value during December as last-minute Christmas shoppers boosted sales.

Meanwhile, in its economic survey for the fourth quarter of 2009, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said the UK economy appears to be “on the brink of leaving recession”.

In related news, it emerged over the weekend that China, which is the world’s third largest economy, overtook Germany as the world’s biggest exporter.

Chinese exports soared 17.7% on an annual basis in December, while imports rose 55.9%.

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