The UK’s Office of National Statistics reported today that the country’s world goods trade deficit in April grew to £10.1 billion, just shy of the record deficit of £10.2 billion posted in September 2011. The problem is that the UK’s largest export market, the Eurozone, isn’t buying, and that’s throwing a wrench into the Cameron government’s plan to export the country’s economy out of its weakness.
The UK had hoped to increase trade with emerging market nations to make up for the weakness in Europe, but trade with China fell by £100 million while trade with Germany fell by £500 million. The slightly good news is the UK imports fell by about -2.5% to £33.9 billion, led by slowdowns in purchases of oil, intermediate goods, and precious stones.
The trade deficit with the European Union grew to £4.9 billion, the largest ever since records began being kept in 1998. The trade gap with non-EU nations grew to £5.2 billion.
The report hasn’t dented the enthusiasm in European and Asian equity markets, while US futures markets are solidly higher as well this morning.