In the three months to September 2017, the total UK goods and services trade deficit widened by £3bn to £9.5bn, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), as imports continued to increase.
This was largely due to an increase in imports of goods, primarily due to increased imports of machinery, unspecified goods (including non-monetary gold) and fuels, partially offset by a decrease in imports of aircraft, the statistics body said.
The ONS said imports from both EU and non-EU countries increased over the period, following on from an increase in the three months to June, and the trade deficit narrowed by £0.7bn between August and September, primarily due to increased exports.
Exports of goods to non-EU countries decreased by £1.7bn, or 3.8 per cent, between the three months to June 2017 and the three months to September 2017. The ONS blamed this on decreases in exports of fuels (£1.6bn) and chemicals (£1bn), which offset increases in exports to non-EU countries of other commodities over the same period.