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UK must act now to 'balance its books', says economist

By PRW Staff
Posted 7 February 2013

A leading economist has warned the UK must do more to balance its books after new figures revealed the total deficit on trade in goods in 2012 stood at £107bn, compared with £47bn 10 years ago.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the value of UK exports rose by 60% between 2002 and 2012, an average of 4.8% a year.

However the value of imports rose by 74%, or 5.7% a year, although a small proportion of this was accounted for by lower oil exports as North Sea rigs underwent repair work.

Katie Evans, an economist with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), noted the shift in UK exports to non-European Union markets, up 6.6% in value in 2012.

“As recession in the Eurozone drags on, the UK’s expansion into emerging markets is a positive sign.

“The growth in the size of the deficit over the years, however, proves that the UK must do more to balance its books,” she said.

The ONS revealed today that the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services came in a £3.2bn in December, down 11% on November’s figure and lower than consensus forecasts of £3.3bn.

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