Britain’s trade deficit soared to £57.7 billion for 2012, up from £20 billion in 2011. This is the worst gap since 1989. It explodes the government’s pledge to rebalance the economy away from consumer spending and towards exports.
The deficit on trade in goods was £36 billion, 50 per cent up on 2011. There was a £27 billion deficit on trade in goods in the last quarter alone: the disaster is accelerating. The deficit on trade with the EU was £70.5 billion, up from £43.6 billion in 2011. The surplus on trade with non-EU countries was £12.9 billion, down from £23.4 billion in 2011.
The trend continues to worsen: the deficit in trade in goods was £9.41 billion in February, up from £8.17 billion in January. ■