britain - another record deficit

WORKERS, APRIL 2004 ISSUE

Britain's deficit in the trade of goods for January was a new record, at £5.6 billion. Exports dropped by £1.44 billion, 9%, and imports rose. Manufacturing output rose, but only by a miserly 0.2%. Over the last three months, the total deficit has been 14 billion, another record.

Twenty years ago, a deficit of £5.6 billion would have been considered bad for a whole year. But then Thatcher always said that trade deficits didn't matter: the Blair government clearly takes the same view.

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