Britain’s trade deficit widened in September after imports rose more than exports as demand from the UK’s main trading partners in Europe waned.
The goods deficit increased to £9.8bn from £8.9bn in August, mainly because of a jump in oil imports from countries outside the EU.
Overall, a £1.8bn increase in imports to £33.8bn was greater than a £1bn rise in exports to £24bn according to the Office for National Statistics.
Economists had forecast a smaller deficit of £9.4bn and said it was part of a wider trend of disappointing trade data.
Alan Clarke, economist at Scotiabank, said: “There has been no change in the trend – net trade has contributed very little to growth of late and there is little sign of that changing any time soon.
“It is the lack of domestic demand in the eurozone that means we struggle to increase our exports as much as our imports. This is probably because continental European consumers and businesses are demanding less of everything and there is not an awful lot that we can do about that apart from watch and wait for the eurozone recovery to gain traction – or try to export more to elsewhere on the globe.”
Over the third quarter, the trade deficit widened by £900m to £29bn after exports fell by £300m but imports rose by £600m.
The UK recorded its largest ever deficit with Germany in the third quarter, amid a deteriorating economic situation in Europe’s largest economy. Meanwhile the UK’s surplus with the US was the lowest in almost eight years.
via The Guardian