Reacting to the latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) Trade datafor January, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “There was no big boost to trade volumes to start 2023. Removing cyclical factors in the trade data, goods export volumes to both the EU and rest of the world, over the past year, have remained constant.

“But goods trade values fell in January. On the imports side this can be partly explained by balancing it against the stronger performance in machinery and transport orders in December.

“The overall picture over the past three months indicates no upward tick – with total goods import values down by compared with the 3 months before then, and goods export values down by 1.6% in the 3 months to January 2023, 4% over the same timeframe.

“Services were only moderately better – with import values down by 0.3% over that period and export values down by 2.3%.

“It is clear that cost of living pressures are hitting consumer incomes globally and this is widely forecast to be a drag on global trade in 2023.

“Today’s data provides further signals that UK exporters require a year of strong delivery from the UK Export Strategy to provide ballast to their ambitions in 2023.”

Read the full Press Release here.

More detail on the ONS data can be found here.