Both UK and US have pledged to double exports by 2020 but the UK has fallen behind the US in its progress as the US is getting closer to its target.

On the day that Finance Minister George Osborne unveiled his new budget, the US announced its fourth-quarter balance of payments; showing a deficit of $81.1 billion (£49 billion) for the quarter, one of the lowest in the US for several years; on an annual basis, this equates to 2 percent of the overall GDP for the US. The latest balance of payments signifies a substantial economic improvement for the US; before the 2008 financial crisis began, the US current account deficit was almost 7 percent of GDP.

By comparison, the UK’s recovery is associated with a significant widening of its current account deficit to more than 4 percent of GDP, according to the Office for National Statistics. This reveals that, despite the fact that the trade-weighted value of the pound declined significantly more than the value of the dollar in 2008-09, the UK’s recovery has been less significant and slower than that of the US, and the UK’s external deficit is twice the size.

Patrick Phelan, Managing Director of Aquaterra Energy, said: “A report last month revealed that the UK is the fastest growing economy in Western Europe, but that this growth was over-dependent upon consumer spending, and will only be sustainable if we see increased export growth and current investment levels are sustained.

“The oil and gas industry is an integral part of our economy, and Aquaterra Energy applies its offshore engineering expertise not just domestically but also abroad in Europe, Asia-Pacific; Africa; USA; exporting its products such as its custom engineered Sea Swift minimum facilities platforms across the world. Additionally, many of our designs are optimised for individual projects, showcasing the innovative and comprehensive engineering capabilities of UK engineers.”