Partial rebound for UK exports to EU in February

UK exports to the European Union partially rebounded in February after a record slump at the start of the year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that exports to the EU rose by £3.7bn, or 46.6%, having fallen by £5.7bn, or 42%, in January following the end of the Brexit transition period.

The change in trading regulations brought additional red tape and costs at a time when trade was already impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.

Imports from the EU showed a much weaker recovery, growing by £1.2bn or 7.3% in February after a record fall of £6.7bn (29.7%) in January.

Separate figures from the ONS revealed that the UK’s GDP grew by 0.4% in February. This followed a 2.2% decline in January – an improvement on the initial measure of 2.9% contraction.

“The economy showed some improvement in February after the large falls seen at the start of the year but remains around 8% below its pre-pandemic level,” the ONS said.

“Exports to the EU recovered significantly from their January fall, though still remain below 2020 levels.

“However, imports from the EU are yet to significantly rebound, with a number of issues hampering trade.”