U.K. Trade Deficit Wider Than Expected


Britain’s trade deficit slightly narrowed in August to £4.7bn from £4.8bn in July but was wider than expected, as exports were hit by a slowing world economy that offset the sharp fall in sterling.

The Office for National Statistics said the trade deficit in goods and services widened to £13.9bn in the three months to August, from an £11.3bn deficit in the previous three months.

Monthly and quarterly trade figures, however, are highly volatile and prone to revision. The ONS warned that the unreliability of the estimates made interpretation of short-term movements difficult.

The ONS has revised its estimate of the trade in goods deficit in July to £8.2bn, much wider than the previous estimate of £7.7bn. This deficit was left unchanged in August, at a level that analysts said was a record high.

Total exports of goods fell in August by 4.5 per cent to £21.3bn, while total imports of goods fell by 3.5 per cent to £29.5bn. Exports to European Union countries rose by 1 per cent while exports to non-EU countries fell by 11.5 per cent.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg.com
10/9/2008 7:13:50 AM