UK trade deficit widens but balance with non-EU countries narrows

Alys Key
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The UK had an improved trade balance with non-EU countries (Source: Getty)

The UK's trade deficit widened again in the three months to October, the balance with non-EU countries narrowed.

The deficit for goods and services, excluding erratic commodities such as gold, increased by £0.8bn to £6.9bn according to the Office for National Statistics.

But the goods deficit with countries outside of the EU narrowed by £2.9bn, while the gap with EU countries widened by £1.2bn.

Erratic commodities had a large impact on headline movements, meaning that when they are included in the deficit, the gap narrowed by £2.7bn to £5bn in the period. This includes sales of non-monetary gold, which typically fluctuate and centre on the UK as the home of the London Bullion Market.

Between September and October, a decrease in goods imports of crude oil from non-EU countries meant the trade deficit excluding erratic commodities narrowed by £0.1bn.

The figures were released at the same time as new statistics showed a strong period for British manufacturing, as demand for cars gave the industry its best run for 20 years.

Read more: UK manufacturing has its best month since 2013

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