The ONS said the goods trade deficit grew to £10.1bn - the second-largest gap since records began in January 1998. Economists had forecast a gap of £8.5bn.
Exports to non-EU countries fell 10.3 per cent in April, driven by lower sales of chemicals and cars. Exports of goods to the EU dropped 6.8 per cent on the month, outweighing a 3 per cent fall in imports.
Separate non-seasonally adjusted ONS data showed that construction output fell 8.5 per cent year-on-year in April.
Yesterday, in a bid to boost economic growth, Bank of England governor Mervyn King said that Britain would launch a scheme to provide cheap long-term funding to banks to encourage them to lend to businesses and consumers.