UK Trade Deficit Narrows to 17-Month Low

British trade gap decreased to £1.4 billion in November of 2014 from a revised £2.2 billion in the previous month. It is the lowest shortfall since June of 2013 as lower oil prices reduced the country's imports.

The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services of £1.4 billion reflects a deficit of £8.8 billion on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £7.4 billion on services. The narrowing of the deficit reflects a fall in imports of goods rather than an increase in exports.

Between October and November 2014, exports of goods fell by £0.1 billion to £24.4 billion. The decrease was mainly attributed to oil exports (down £0.2 billion) and, in particular, oil exported to EU countries. Outside the EU, exports rose by £0.1 billion. A £0.2 billion increase in manufactured goods was partially offset by the cumulative effect of decreases elsewhere, particularly fuel exports which fell by £0.1 billion.

Imports of goods fell by £1.1 billion to £33.2 billion over the same period, reflecting a £0.7 billion decrease in imports of oil. Almost all of the decrease in fuel imports was attributed to trade with countries outside the EU. Aside from fuels, imports of other key commodities also fell in November, although their impact was less significant. The most notable of these was material manufactures, which fell by £0.2 billion. Outside the EU, imports fell by £0.7 billion. Fuel accounted for around 75% of the decrease as oil imports fell by £0.6 billion.

ONS | Joana Taborda |
1/9/2015 10:36:51 AM