Demand for British goods and services around the globe rose by 11.3% in the first full year since the EU referendum, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Figures on the import and export of goods show that trade with non-EU countries grew by 11.6% – faster than with the EU at 10.9%.
Exports from UK companies in 2017 rose to £617 billion, with the UK’s renowned service sector continuing to thrive, driving service exports up 8.7% to £274 billion.
Goods exports also rose strongly by 13.4% to £342 billion. Best sellers including cars and mechanical and electrical machinery are going to market in countries such as the USA, China, and Germany.
Exports continue to grow faster than imports, narrowing the trade deficit by £7 billion in the last year.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: “In the first full year after the EU referendum, demand for British goods and services is higher than ever with exports rising by £62.5 billion and the trade deficit narrowing.
“As I meet my counterparts across the world, one thing always stands out: the UK’s reputation for producing trusted, high quality products.
“These new figures are a testament to the hard work of companies up and down the country. As an international economic department, we will continue to build on this success by helping more firms export through our Exporting is GREAT campaign and global network of more than 1700 trade advisers.”
In a further boost, ONS statistics also released last week show manufacturing output reached its highest level since February 2008.
The figures were welcomed by leading industry bodies, demonstrating how Britain’s trading presence has grown as the country gets ready to leave the EU and forge our own free trade agreements.