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Rising overseas exports boost businesses

Businesses that sell goods to overseas markets were boosted by UK exports hitting a record high in 2017, according to the latest trade figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests global demand for manufacturing goods and business services emanating from the UK remains high.

The news comes as a boost to confidence-hit businesses, with less than a year until Britain formally exits the European Union in March 2019.

Businesses that export services fuelled the increase in Q4 2017, rising £1.6 billion to a record £28.1 billion, while sales of finished manufactured goods rose £400 million.

Liam Fox, trade secretary, said:

"UK exports of goods and services have increased over the year and the UK deficit on trade in goods and services narrowed significantly.

"UK companies are succeeding on the world stage, and as an international economic department we are banging the drum for the growing demand for our goods and services."

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