UK Trade Deficit Hits 11 Month High In Dec

Britain’s goods trade deficit with the rest of the world unexpectedly widened to its highest in nearly a year in December, after imports from non-EU countries shot up at their fastest rate since March 2005.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that Britain’s trade deficit for 2009 as a whole narrowed for the first year since 1997 after the global recession caused both imports and exports to fall at their fastest rate in over 50 years.

The ONS said that Britain’s goods trade gap widened to 7.278 billion pounds from 6.798 billion, its highest level since January 2009. Economists had forecast a deficit of 6.63 billion pounds.

The widening in the deficit was driven by a 7.6 percent month-on-month increase in non-EU imports, which was the biggest since March 2005. Some 300 million pounds of the roughly 1 billion pound increase in imports was oil-related, and another 225 million was linked to aircraft.


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza