Description: The difference between exports and imports of British goods and services. The Trade Balance is one of the biggest components of the United Kingdom 's Balance of Payment, thus giving valuable insight into pressures on the value of the Pound.
A positive Balance of Trade figure (surplus) indicates that exports are greater than imports. When imports exceed exports, the UK experiences a trade deficit. Because foreign goods must be purchased using foreign currency, trade deficits fundamentally reflects that the Sterling is leaking out of the country. Such currency outflows may lead to a natural depreciation of a Pound, unless countered by similar capital inflows. At a bare minimum, deficits will weigh down the value of the currency.
Release Date: 8:30 (GMT); monthly, within 40 days following the report month The headline figure for trade balance is typically expressed in billions of Pounds and usually accompanied by a year-on-year percentage change figure.