UK clothing exports to EU rise, but trade deficit also grows
UK apparel and textiles exports rose almost 7% to £9.1bn from £8.5bn last year with a 28% increase since 2012, the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) said on Wednesday.
The rise came as apparel exports alone rose to £6.2bn in the five-year period, a value increase of £1.8bn.
The UKFT said the rise came on the back of an increased interest in heritage UK manufacturing, the creativity of British fashion designers and the importance of the UK as a key apparel trading hub.
However, the figures also suggested that there could be disruption ahead as the country extricates itself from its long-term membership of the EU. In 2016 the European trade bloc was the UK’s biggest export market and accounted for 74% of the products it exported.
Britain’s apparel and textile exports to the EU have risen 36% from £4.9bn in 2012 to £6.7bn in 2016.
But imports also rose with the UK trade deficit increasing to £15.4bn last year, up from £15bn a year earlier. Imports rose to £24.5bn from £23.4bn.
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