UK exports jump in 2018, figures reveal

The number of businesses exporting goods in the UK has increased to 110,000, new figures reveal.

Despite political and economic uncertainty, the data represents a rise of 1.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The report follows the launch of the UK Government’s Export Strategy in August, which sets out an ambition to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35 per cent.

The Government said the strategy would “support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world”.

As of September 2018, the results appear promising. Exports of goods from England increased by 3.1 per cent to £247.6 billion over 12 months, while Scotland saw its volume increase by 6.2 per cent to £29.6 billion.

Wales and Northern Ireland also experienced growth, at three per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.

Likewise, between July and September 2018, the average value of goods exported in the UK per exporter increased to £0.8 million.

The figures also reveal that businesses are beginning to look outside the realms of Europe. In total, the number of companies exporting to non-EU countries rose to 49,000, with the USA (19.9 per cent), Australia (7.9 per cent) and Switzerland (7.3 per cent) being the UK’s most popular trading partners.

Commenting on the report, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: “The continued rise in exports across the country is fantastic news for Britain – driving job creation and prosperity.

“More than 110,000 businesses are expanding their horizons and making the most of the demand for quality British goods.

“Through our Export Strategy, my international economic department has set out an offer for all businesses to ensure they are able to make the most of the global opportunities this presents.”

Earlier this week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed that the UK remains a top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), with inward stock at the highest levels since records began 12 years ago.