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Teaching activity

In the News Teaching Activity: UK Current Account Deficit is £87bn in 2022 (Sept 2023)

Elizabeth Veal

21st September 2023

This September ‘Trade: Key Economic Indicators’ research briefing from the House of Commons Library updates the UK’s international trade performance. Have a go at this free teaching activity, which includes a downloadable worksheet and suggested answers.

The recently published briefing uses ONS data to show that the UK exported £825bn of goods and services in 2022, while it imported £902bn. In recent decades, the UK has typically run a trade deficit in goods and a trade surplus in services. While the COVID era disrupted this norm somewhat, 2023 data so far suggests this trend is set to continue.

The full report notes that the EU is still a very important trade partner for the UK. After Brexit, the UK and EU established a new free trade deal called the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, signed in December 2020.

Trade: Key Economic Indicators - House of Commons Library (

Read the article and then answer the following questions.

  1. What are the key macroeconomic indicators?
  2. Use the information to calculate the balance of trade in goods and services for the UK in 2022.
    • Does the UK have a trade surplus or a trade deficit?
    • Why is the balance you calculated different from the £87bn current account deficit headline?
  3. Discuss why the UK does over 40% of its international trade with the EU.

Download the worksheet and suggested answers

Elizabeth Veal

Liz has taught Economics for over 25 years, including several years as Head of Economics at leading schools.

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