UK trade deficit hits seven-month high in February

Britain’s goods trade deficit widened more than expected to a seven-month high in February as the value of exports fell to its lowest level in more than four years, according to official data on Thursday.

The figures also showed January’s initially strong-looking trade data now looked much weaker.

The Office for National Statistics the deficit in goods widened to 10.34 billion pounds from a shortfall of 9.17 billion pounds in January, bigger than all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.

Goods exports sank to 23.16 billion pounds, their lowest level in any month since September 2010.

The falling exports mainly reflected weaker sales to the United States.

While the trade deficit narrowed in the fourth quarter of last year and helped overall economic growth in the period, Thursday’s figures will do little to ease concerns that Britain’s strong economic recovery is still too reliant on consumer spending.

The total trade deficit, including services, also widened to 2.86 billion pounds from 1.54 billion pounds.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.