The Beard of Trade Returns for our Foreign Trade in
1912 show, in spite of strikes and labour disputes, an advance on all previous records. Imports were £744,896,514, an increase of £64,738,987, or 9.5 per cent. ; British exports were £487.434.002, an increase of £3,314,704, or 7.3 per cent.; and re-exports £111,837,995, an increase of £9,078,771, or 88 per cent. The figures for the month of December showed increases of 14, 7.4, and 64 per cent. in these three departments respectively. The largest item of increase in imports is in raw materials ; in exports, in manufactured articles. Every trade, with the exception of silk, shows large increases ; the output of the British shipyards exceeds all previous records, and trade union unemployment has fallen steadily since last April, reaching in November the low figure of 1.8 per cent.