The last 12 months have marked a record breaking year for the UK export industry, new data has revealed.
The figures, published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), show that total exports grew at a rate of three per cent, or by around £18.5 billion, in 2018/19.
This values the total export industry at around £639.9 billion – the highest on record.
According to the ONS, the figures represent 36 months of consecutive growth, indicating the “unparalleled spirit and resilience of UK exporters up and down the country”.
In particular, exports within the services sector, which covers retail, banks, hotels, real estate, education and other tertiary industries, pulled away in terms of growth, increasing output by 1.4 per cent to £283.8 billion over the year.
The data also shows that total UK export growth was faster than the overall rate for the European Union, at 13.8 per cent compared to the EU’s 11.9 per cent. This is also greater than Germany (10.5 per cent), France (10.1 per cent) and Italy (11.4 per cent).
The report comes as the UK gears up to leave the single market which may give confidence to businesses who have concerns about the future of UK export growth.
Commenting on the figures, Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, said: “UK exports continue to grow and beat records across Europe, these new numbers published today highlight the quality and innovation of British goods and services and how much they are valued across the globe.
“From exports of our Scotch Whisky to our world-class cars, consumers all over the world are demanding British goods at unprecedented levels.
“My international economic department is confident British businesses will continue to excel as we leave the EU and will offer its full support to businesses with the same ambition.”