UK Trade in the Time of COVID-19: A Review

Jun Du*, Oleksandr Shepotylo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper offers a detailed review of the UK’s trade performance during the COVID-19 crisis and reflects on how this may be revived. During 2020, UK goods exports contracted more sharply than those of its international peers. Statistics suggest that UK had a deeper decline and slower recovery than Germany, Italy, Spain and the US. Further, the trends from 2017 to 2019 show a weakening in the UK’s global competitiveness, suggesting a more persistent development against the backdrop of productivity slowdown and Brexit uncertainty. We analyse the confluence of internal and external factors that impact on UK trade and emphasise the importance of boosting productivity in the recovery from the COVID crisis and Brexit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1409-1446
JournalWorld Economy
Issue number5
Early online date26 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Du, J. and Shepotylo, O. (2021), UK Trade in the Time of COVID-19: A Review. The World Economy. Accepted Author Manuscript. which has been published in final form at  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Funding: Lloyds Banking Group.


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