In a remarkable reversal of fortune, the UK topped the list of G7 nations’ export growth figures in April. The international delivery expert ParcelHero says new data shows UK exports soared by 5.86 per cent in April, to $38.25bn (around £30.74bn, seasonally adjusted). That was the biggest percentage rise in exports of all the G7 economies, according to new OECD figures.
“UK exports performed healthily in April, with a rise of 5.86 per cent over a disappointing March. In March, the UK actually came bottom of the list of G7 exporters, down -5.02 per cent at $36.14bn (£29.78bn, seasonally adjusted),” said ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T.
“That makes April’s bounce-back a truly encouraging performance, especially as Japan, the country that enjoyed the second highest percentage improvement in exports, had just a 2.52 per cent increase.
“In contrast to the UK’s exports success, US exports plummeted by -5.30 per cent against March, leaving it at the bottom of the percentage change table. Even so, the US still topped the G7’s list in terms of the actual value of exports at $163.82bn (around £129.44bn).
“Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures broadly align with the OECD’s April results (though it values them at a slightly higher £31.4bn). It says a 7.3 per cent (£1.1bn) rise in exports to non-EU countries was largely responsible for the jump.
“The US took the lion’s share of Britain’s non-EU exports, and the US is now ParcelHero’s No.1 individual export market. That makes sense when you look at the USA’s imports in April, which rose by 2.14 per cent to $260.92bn.
“Imagine the opportunities the US will offer UK exporters if that elusive UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is ever reached. Credit where it’s due, Prime Minister Sunak did recently sign an ‘Atlantic Declaration’ that could help UK companies selling green tech, such as car batteries, to the US. Significant hurdles in US trade remain, however. Most UK goods exported to the US that are valued at over $800 (the US import tax threshold) are still subject to tariffs of zero to 37.5 per cent, with the typical rate being 5.63 per cent.
US duties difficulties aside, the UK’s buoyant April exports make a welcome change from recent gloomy economic news. Below is the full G7 export “league” table for April (as a percentage change from March):
UK – 5.86%
Japan – 2.52%
Germany – 1.51%
Canada – 1.22%
France – 0.96%
Italy – 0.93%
USA – -5.30%
Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images