Exports of services from the UK creative industries grew by 27.4 per cent to reach £27bn in 2016, according to official data. The buoyant figures put the industries well on track to hit a key target of generating £31bn in services exports by 2020 laid out in the UK's growth strategy for international trade.
Creative industries services exports grew more than three times faster than those from the rest of the economy in 2016 (up 8.8 per cent), and accounted for 11 per cent of total services exports from the UK.
The creative industries services export growth rate was also faster in 2016 than in the preceding 2010-2015 period.
Geographically, the most valuable individual service exports territories for the UK creative industries were the USA, Switzerland (especially for IT and computing), the Gulf, Australia, and Japan.
Reflecting the increased overall level of international trade involving creative businesses, the value of imports of creative services to the UK - often imported as part of wider creative projects - jumped 41.3 per cent to reach £14bn. This compares to an 11.1 per cent rise in the value of service imports across all UK sectors during the same period.
In terms of goods, the picture was quite different, however.
For both exports and imports of goods, the figures for the creative industries fell in 2016. The value of goods exported by the UK creative industries fell 12.2 per cent to £13.2bn in 2016 and the value of imports of creative industries goods dropped to £10.1bn (down 13.2 per cent).
These declines were mainly driven by reductions in trade related to the crafts and music, performing and visual arts sub-sectors.
Overall, exports of creative industries goods accounted for 4.3 per cent of the value of all goods exported from the UK, and creative imports were just over 2 per cent of the value of all goods imported into the UK.