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UK exports to European Union drop 40% as economy shrinks

by LLB Editor
12th Mar 21 8:40 am

UK goods exports to the European Union tumbled 40.7% in January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS blamed the fall on “likely the result of temporary factors”. However, imports too fell 28.8%.

“Manufacturing also saw its first decline since April with car manufacturing falling significantly,” said Jonathan Athow from the ONS.”However, increases in health services from both vaccine rollout and increased testing partially offset the declines in other industries.”

Separate data showed the UK economy shrank by 2.9% in January as the third lockdown came into force.

The economy is 9% smaller than it was before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ayush Ansal, chief investment officer at the London-based hedge fund, Crimson Black Capital, said: “January was better than expected but the economy is still in a very difficult place. The services sector, unsurprisingly, is flat on the canvas.

“Some will take encouragement from this data, but let’s not forget that the economy in January was still down a massive 9% on February last year.

“The latest national lockdowns have taken their toll on the economy but it’s what comes next that matters.

“Though many are looking along the curve to a post-vaccination economy, and there’s no doubt the UK has done well on that front, there is still going to be considerable turbulence in the short to medium term.”

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