UK Trade Deficit Widens in December

The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods and Services decreased to £1.1 billion in December, from £2.8 billion in November. This is the narrowest monthly trade in goods and services deficit since April 2003.

The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods decreased to £7.1 billion, from the deficit of £8.9 billion in November. Exports of goods increased by £0.2 billion (0.9 per cent) from £25.3 billion in November to £25.6 billion in December, and imports of goods decreased by £1.6 billion (4.6 per cent) from November's £34.3 billion to £32.7 billion in December.

The increase in total exports of goods was driven by higher exports of oil (up £0.6 billion), including crude oil (up £0.5 billion) to EU countries, including France, and to Non-EU countries, including South Korea. Exports of oil and crude oil were at record levels in December, as were total exports to South Korea. Exports of intermediate goods also increased (up £0.2 billion), as did exports of consumer goods other than cars (up £0.1 billion). This was offset by lower exports of capital goods, cars and chemicals (each down £0.1 billion).

The £1.6 billion decrease in total imports was made up of decreased imports from EU countries of £16.7 billion (down £0.4 billion from November) and decreased imports from non-EU countries of £16.0 billion (down £1.2 billion from November).

The decrease in total imports of goods was made up of lower imports of chemicals (down £0.6 billion), oil and precious stones (each down £0.3 billion), semi-manufactured goods other than chemicals, intermediate goods and fuels other than oil (each down £0.2 billion). These were offset by higher imports of capital goods (up £0.1 billion)., ONS
2/9/2012 2:02:15 PM