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Chart of the Day: could exports really save the UK economy?

Despite European economic weakness, UK exporters have been breaking records.


by Chris Marshall on Oct 13, 2011 at 11:29

The chart may not look dramatic, but George Osborne and friends will likely be crossing their legs in giddy excitement.

It shows that exports by UK companies rose to £25.5 billion in August, the most since (comparable) records began back in 1998.

Having started the year emphatically expounding the role of exports in the UK economic recovery, and thereby justifying their continued austerity measures, the coalition government seemed to go quiet on their reliance on exports as our main trading partners’ economies deteriorated and our own economy slowed further (0.1% at the last count).

But the latest stats on exports, published by the Office for National Statistics today, will likely be pounced on by Conservative Party speech writers.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Exports of ‘intermediate goods’ such as mobile phones and computer components to Europe were particularly strong, as were exports of fuels to non-EU countries. Exports of cars, however, dropped significantly – the UK automotive industry is indeed in trouble, as a Chart of the Day showed last week.

But although total exports rose by 0.6%, imports fell by 0.7% to £33.3 billion.

Unfortunately, economists do not expect the export strength to continue: despite the help provided by a weak pound, demand from the eurozone is just getting too feeble.

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5 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Oct 13, 2011 at 15:49

Our imports remain high and I ponder as to the make-up of these imports. I suspect a major factor in the UK's imports relate to non indigenous (immigrants) bringing in there own special foods, spices, beers etc.

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Jeremy Bosk

Oct 13, 2011 at 21:39


Food imports from India and other countries which have very different diets to our own are negligible and less than our imports from Ireland alone. As you could have discovered with ten minutes spent searching the internet.

Look at page 16.

Pondering with no facts on which to base your pondering is likely to leave you no wiser.

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Oct 14, 2011 at 09:48

Wound you up!

I thought some one would respond!

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Jeremy Bosk

Oct 14, 2011 at 12:20


Pity I didn't go with my first impulse which was to ask whether the IQ of a BNP member was 20 points below average or 30 to qualify them as official morons.

There are enough genuine fascists and honestly ignorant halfwits on these boards for fraudulent ones to be superfluous.

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Oct 14, 2011 at 14:42

"There are enough genuine fascists and honestly ignorant halfwits on these boards for fraudulent ones to be superfluous."

Gosh, are you one then Jeremy?

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