The UK’s trade deficit narrowed in December to its smallest since July 2012, but manufacturing growth was weaker than expected, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.
An increase in oil, chemical and aircraft exports helped the trade deficit in goods to fall by more than £2bn to £7.72bn, the ONS said.
Fewer imports of aircraft and ships also boosted the figures, it said.
Manufacturing output rose by 0.3% in December, less than the 0.6% predicted.
The wider measure of industrial output rose by 0.4% in the month.
However, the ONS said the weaker-than-expected growth was not enough to change the estimate of GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was 0.7%.
When services were included, the overall trade deficit narrowed to £1bn in December. This was down from a deficit of £3.6bn the month earlier and also the smallest deficit since July 2012.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.