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The UK International Trade Index, written in partnership between Lloyds Bank and IHS Markit, has reported its latest findings for the UK international Trade sector in Q4 2019. The report looks at the state of the UK's import and export markets, and the condition of the nation's supply chain industry.
The main finding of the Q4 2019 report is that the "market for UK exports remained in growth as economic conditions in the US and China rebounded in Q4 to offset slowing growth in Europe, particularly Germany and the Netherlands." The index's analysis of HMRC trade data confirmed this trend, and noted that "goods exports to the EU fell in both Q2 and Q3 of 2019 while exports to Asia have grown rapidly over the last three years".
The index found a particular strength in the UK's luxury and sporting goods market, although the automotive and capital goods (investment) sectors saw "record low exports in the face of industrial change and global uncertainty."
Other relevant highlights of the report included:
- Larger manufacturers grew exports in Q4, whilst smaller firms saw export growth dip to a ten year low
- Manufacturing exports continued to contract, with exports of capital goods falling sharply
- The UK Service Export Business Index fell to a five year low of 46.5
- Financial Services data shows export growth for the second consecutive quarter
- Global delivery times and bottlenecks improved for the third successive quarter
- Euro area and UK firms reduced stock levels, whilst the US saw a bout of stockpiling
- UK manufacturers experienced the lowest cost inflation in 4 years during Q4 2019
The full report can be found by going to https://resources.lloydsbank.com/insight/international-trade-index
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