UK Trade Gap Well Below Expectations in October


The UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services increased to GBP 1.41 billion in October of 2017 from a downwardly revised GBP 1.14 billion gap in September but way below market expectations of a GBP 3 billion gap. Both exports and imports reached record values although purchases rose at a faster pace, mainly due to unspecified goods (including non-monetary gold) from non-EU countries.

Total exports went up 1.1 percent from the previous month to a record high of GBP 53.669 billion. Shipments of goods rose 1.8 percent, mainly due to semi manufactured goods (1.7 percent); finished manufactured (1.1 percent) and unspecified goods (19.9 percent). Exports of services increased 0.3 percent to GBP 23.46 billion. On the other hand, oil sales fell 1.6 percent. Shipments rose to France (1.6 percent); Italy (6 percent); Spain (2.6 percent) and Sweden (2.6 percent) but fell to Germany (-6.8 percent); Netherlands (-3.1 percent); Belgium and Luxembourg (-6.9 percent); Ireland (-0.2 percent) and China (-1.6 percent). 

Total imports rose 1.6 percent month-over-month to a record high of GBP 55.07 billion: purchases of goods advanced 2.1 percent to GBP 40.99 billion and those of services edged up 0.1 percent to GBP 14.08 billion. Imports went up for mainly for food, beverages and tobacco (1.9 percent); finished manufactured (5 percent) unspecified good (17 percent). In contrast, imports of oil went down 2.7 percent. Main rises were seen in purchases from Germany (4.4 percent); Netherlands (3.9 percent); France (0.8 percent); Belgium and Luxembourg (4 percent) and Italy (2.8 percent) while those from China went down 3.5 percent.  

Considering the three months to October, the total trade deficit narrowed by GBP 2.7 billion to GBP 5 billion. Total eports went up 2.7 percent, mainly to goods, which increased 3.8 percent. Unspecified goods (particularly non-monetary gold) was the main contributor to the increase. Total imports rose at a slower 0.8 percent. 

UK Trade Gap Well Below Expectations in October


ONS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
12/8/2017 10:56:39 AM