ONS urges care in using 2020 trade data due to effects of Brexit and coronavirus (COVID-19)

ONS urges care in using 2020 trade data due to effects of Brexit and coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published information on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the Brexit transition period has impacted the compilation of UK trade. The ONS encourages users to be cautious when making short-term comparisons of trade movements due to the erratic nature of recent UK and global trade and states that it will continue to analyse the trends in future publications. The report highlights that the decrease in trade in goods and services resulted in March to June 2020 seeing the largest fall in exports and imports (excluding precious metals) since comparable records began in 1998.

Until 31 December 2020, data on trade in goods was compiled through the Intrastat statistical survey. From 1 January 2021, data on exports to the EU from Great Britain has been collected directly from customs export declarations made according to the requirements of the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018. In relation to services, the majority of data is collected via the International Trade in Services Survey.

Source: Understanding the statistical implications of coronavirus (Covid-19) and EU Exit on the compilation of UK Trade statistics

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