Recovery does little to close UK trade deficit

THE UK’S trade deficit stayed wide in November, with little indication that a recent boost to economic growth is feeding through to much of an improvement in exports.

People in the UK imported £3.2bn more goods and services combined than they traded out of the country during the month, a minor improvement from October’s £3.5bn.

While £9.4bn more goods were imported than exported out of the UK, a smaller surplus of £6.2bn in services was also recorded.

“The trade figures have continued to pour cold water on hopes of an export-led recovery. And with little sign that a noteworthy recovery is emerging in the Eurozone, exports look set to remain subdued in 2014,” said Capital Economics’ Samuel Tombs, adding that relatively flat imports indicated that increased consumer spending is not bringing in a large amount of overseas goods.

By region, UK exports to the rest of the European Union dropped in the three months to November, falling by 5.2 per cent to £37.5bn, while exports to the rest of the world fell to £37.8bn, a 0.7 per cent drop.

Exports to China bucked the trend, rising 9.6 per cent to £3.3bn, a record high.