11 JANUARY 1908, Page 2

The Board of Trade Returns for 1907 were issued on

Tuesday, and present some extraordinary figures. The imports, exports, and re-exports amount to the enormous total of 21,164,080,913, as against 21,068,566,318 in 1906. This is an increase of 295,514,595. The characteristic of the year was the continuous growth of British exports. At the end of the year the export trade was naturally affected by the abnormal Bank rate, but even then the prosperity con- tinued. Taking the imports, exports, and re-exports separately, we find that the imports were 2645,904,176, as compared with 2607,888,500 in 1906; the exports 2426,204,596, as compared with £375,575,338; and the re-exports 291,972,141, as compared with 285,104480. When it is remembered that 1906 was a "record" year, it will be seen how great is the growth of our trade. In the imports the chief increase was of course in raw materials, cotton coming easily first and wool next. It is to be noticed that the imports of manufactured articles decreased, which is in itself a testimony to the prosperity of our manufacturing industries. In the exports the main increase was naturally in cotton manufactured goods, but we must also note great, and in every sense satisfactory, increases in the exportation of iron goods and machinery.