The West Midlands defied a gloomy UK market to record an increase in the value of its exports last year.

New data says that, in the year to June, the total value of goods exported by businesses in the West Midlands was £29.9 billion.

This was up two per cent on the 12 months before and the increase was in contrast to the UK as a whole.

The value of exports across the UK fell 2.8 per cent year-on-year, with England, Scotland and Wales all reporting falls overall.

Machinery and transport goods form the vast majority of West Midlands exports by value and a £607 million increase fuelled the region's overall rise.

The West Midlands' exports to the European Union rose 12 per cent from £3.12 billion in April to June last year to £3.51 billion this spring, the latest available quarterly data shows.

These last three months were the build-up to the referendum on the EU on June 23, indicating that the region's trade with the union powered on, apparently entirely unaffected by any speculation about the vote.

Exports to North America rose 25 per cent year-on-year and were worth £6.6 billion to the region's businesses last year.

On the other hand, exports to Asia and Oceania - worth a similar amount to industry in the region - fell by 16 per cent over the same period.


Country; Export value, latest 12 months (£m); per cent change on previous year

North East; 11,695; -3.7

North West; 24,858; -2.6

Yorkshire and The Humber; 15,591; -10.2

East Midlands; 19,341; -1.7

West Midlands; 29,891; 2.0

East; 21,390; -2.1

London; 29,617; 2.1

South East; 40,550; 0.9

South West; 15,776; 9.6

England; 208,709; -0.3

Wales; 12,055; -4.4

Scotland; 17,060; -9.8

Northern Ireland; 6,684; 9.5

Unknown; 29,119; -15.3

United Kingdom; 273,627; -2.8