July 10 2014.

- The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was £2.4bn in May 2014, compared with £2.1bn in April 2014

- There was a deficit of £9.2bn on goods, partly offset by surplus of £6.8bn on services

- Exports of goods rose in May 2014, but the rise in imports was greater

- The BCC is publishing the results of its International Trade Survey on Tuesday 15 July

Commenting on the UK trade statistics for May 2014, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “It is concerning to see the trade deficit widen again in May 2014. Although long term trends show a gradual improvement in our net trade position, the progress made in the first quarter of 2014 has been halted. Today’s figures confirm that the pace of the UK’s rebalancing towards net exports is far too slow, and if this continues we risk missing out on the Prime Minister’s target of increasing exports to £1tn by 2020.

“Therefore narrowing the trade deficit by providing additional support to UK exporters must remain a national priority for both the government and the MPC. On its part, the MPC must restore clarity to its forward guidance and resist calls for premature interest rate rises.”