The new figures show that there was a 14 per cent drop in the trade balance over the first six months of this year compared with the same period of 2004 – from £1,693 million to £1,449 million. This was caused by a slight drop in exports over the January-June period – from £5,967 million in 2004 to £5,839 million in 2005 – and a small rise in imports over the same period, from £4,274 million to £4,390 million.
The ABPI warned in April this year that several key markers indicating the health of the industry had moved downward, including the industry’s healthy trade balance.
“These figures seem to confirm that there is cause for concern,” said Dr Richard Barker, Director General of the ABPI. “While the dip is small – and, of course, is only over six months rather than the full year – it sounds another warning signal.
“Among the reasons for the drop in the trade balance is the fact that manufacturers are finding the climate in the UK is no longer as globally competitive as in the past, as other countries offer specific incentives for local manufacture.
“We are therefore engaging with the Government about how best to retain the British pharmaceuticals manufacturing base, which has contributed so strongly to our balance of trade and levels of skilled employment.”
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410