Sterling falls as official data shows UK trade deficit widened in November

Caitlin Morrison
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UK exports to non-EU countries increased (Source: Getty)

The UK trade deficit narrowed by £2.1bn in the three months to November last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the UK total trade deficit widened between October and November last year, "due primarily to an increase in goods imports of fuels from non-EU countries".

The pound had tumbled 0.32 per cent against the dollar at the time of writing, and by 0.34 per cent against the euro.

The total trade (goods and services) deficit narrowed to £6.2bn in the three months to November, and excluding erratic commodities, the total deficit narrowed by £1.2bn to £6.1bn.

The ONS said the narrowing of the total trade deficit was due to increased exports including works of art and cars, while the change in the trade in goods deficit was down to an increase in exports to non-EU countries.

Non-EU export trade was up 5.3 per cent to £44.7bn over the quarter, the ONS said, while non-EU imports rose 1.6 per cent to £55.8bn. This was mainly down to machinery and transport equipment exports as well as unspecified goods such as gold.

Meanwhile, the deficit with EU countries widened again in the three months to November. "While exports to EU countries increased for certain goods, such as unspecified goods, material manufactures and mechanical machinery, other commodity exports fell, particularly fuel and chemicals, meaning exports overall were relatively unchanged at £42.9 billion. Imports from the EU increased 0.3 per cent meaning the deficit with EU countries widened by £0.2bn to £23.3bn," the ONS said.

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