IoD warns against panic over trade deficit

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10 July 2014

The Institute of Directors has warned against a panic over the latest trade figures released today by the ONS, which show the overall trade deficit has widened to its largest in four months.

Commenting for the IoD, Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy, said:

“While first impressions are indeed worrying, it should be pointed out that that the widening gap is down to a rise in imports, which grew by 1.7% and are a sign of robust domestic demand”.

“Contrary to expectations that the appreciation in sterling would lead to a reduction in the export of goods, there has been an increase of 0.6%. Indeed, when compared with the previous three months, export prices decreased by 0.8% for the three months ending in May. Data from this period also show an increase in the export of goods to the EU by 1.7%, with the trade deficit narrowing for this period by £1.7 billion, compared to the previous three months. Meanwhile, exports to non-EU countries grew from April to May by 1.5%.

“Perhaps more alarming is the drop in the UK’s trade surplus in services, which fell from £7.1 billion in March to £6.8 billion in May, although this is likely down to imports returning to higher levels. However, there is no room for complacency, and the Government is right to continue making export-led growth a priority.”

ENDS

Contacts for further comments or to arrange interviews:

Christian May
Head of Media Relations

Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED

020 7451 3263

07908 358 728
Christian.May@iod.com

Edwin Morgan
Deputy Head of Media Relations

Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED

020 7451 3392

07814 386 243
Edwin.Morgan@iod.com

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 34,500 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
  • The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on  to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.
  • The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with 15 UK centres (including three in London, Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast) and one in Paris, conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.
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