UK Trade Deficit Grew in December

A rise in oil prices and higher imports contributed to a widening of the UK’s goods trade deficit in December.

The gap between exports and imports rose to £13.6bn, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, which was higher than analysts’ forecasts.

Separate ONS data showed industrial output experienced its biggest fall since 2012, largely due to the shutdown of the Forties North Sea pipeline.

Industrial output fell by 1.3% in December from the month before.

However, the ONS said UK’s manufacturing sector, which is part of overall industrial output, saw output rise by 0.3% on the month, marking the eighth consecutive month of growth in the sector – the longest run in almost 30 years.

Further ONS data showed construction output also rose, by 1.6%, in December.

The total trade deficit – which covers goods and services – widened by £1.2bn to £4.9bn between November and December.

Senior ONS statistician Ole Black said: “The headline trade deficit widened in the fourth quarter with the impact of increased oil imports accentuated by rising crude prices.”

via BBC

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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