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The UK's imports of goods from non-EU countries were higher than those from EU countries in Q1, the first time that has happened since records began in 1997, the Office for National Statistics said Wednesday.
Overall imports for Q1 stood at GBP103.8 billion, as goods coming in from the EU totalled GBP50.6 billion in the period, while imports from the rest of the world stood at GBP 53.2 billion. In Q4, imports totalled GBP118.4 billion, with the EU share at 64.7 bn vs non-EU at 53.7 billion.
However, with only one quarter of data available, and the ongoing pandemic and recession, the ONS cautions that it is too early to assess the extent to which this reflects short-term trade disruption or longer-term supply chain adjustments, noting they will continue to assess this over the coming months.