UK construction growth falls as trade deficit widens says ONS

Figures released on Friday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), show that Britain's trade deficit is at its highest point since October 2012. The trade deficit in goods now stands at £9.8bn. Economists had estimated it would fall to £9.2bn. The trade deficit with non-EU countries fell to £3.8bn in September, beating forecasts of £4bn.

The total trade deficit grew to £3.2bn. Export volumes suffered their biggest fall since the three months to March 2009, with a 4.6 per cent decline during the three months to September. Imports also rose by 1.3 per cent.

Howard Archer, IHS Global insight commented:

The poor trade data indicate that net trade was an appreciable drag on GDP growth in the third quarter and was a major factor why expansion did not come in as high as 1.0 per cent quarter-on-quarter as had seemed possible at one point. With total exports edging up just 0.1 per cent month-on-month in September and falling by 2.2 per cent overall in the third quarter, it is evident that the economy is currently far from seeing a hoped-for rebalancing with a greater contribution from exports.

Construction output for the third quarter rose by 1.7 per cent, significantly below the 2.5 per cent forecast. However, construction output fell by 0.9 per cent month-on-month in September. Despite September's decline in output, construction has grown for successive quarters and housebuilding activity is increasing.