COVID / Brexit cocktail: UK lost market share in US, Germany and China: report

LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom lost market share in the United States, Germany and China during the COVID-19 pandemic due to global trade chaos, Brexit and low productivity, according to new research published Monday.

FILE PHOTO: A truck arrives at the Port of Dover after the end of the Brexit transition period, Dover, Britain, January 1, 2021. REUTERS / Peter Cziborra

The UK performed particularly poorly due to long-term stagnation in productivity growth, according to a report by the Lloyd’s Banking Group Center for Business Prosperity at Aston University.

While all countries faced the COVID-19 tumult, the UK lost market share in its biggest export markets – the United States and Germany, the research showed.

“In some key export destinations, Germany, the UK and China, the UK appears to have suffered a steeper decline, experienced a slower recovery and seen its global competitiveness decline,” the report says.

“The UK’s decline in exports to the US appeared to be the steepest in absolute and relative terms and the longest among the major European countries (except France).”

Between 2017 and 2019, the UK increased total exports to Germany by 8.5%, less than the export growth achieved by Italy (12%), the Netherlands (14%) and Spain (20%), as well as the United States (24%).

“To some extent, this paints a picture of the slowdown in UK exports to Germany after the 2016 Brexit referendum, which may indicate some decoupling between the two economies,” said economists Jun Du and Oleksandr Shepotylo at the report.

The investigation, based on United Nations trade statistics, also indicates that the United Kingdom lost market share in China. here

“The combination of COVID, Brexit and the UK’s long-term productivity challenges will put British businesses in an adverse position for the foreseeable future,” the report said.

The UK’s relatively low productivity has puzzled economies for years: the explanations range from low employee capacity and low investment in research to demand-side factors such as the financial crisis.

($ 1 = 0.7225 pounds)

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, edited by Louise Heavens


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