U.K. Trade Deficit Narrows in October

The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods and Services decreased to £1.6 billion in October, down from £4.3 billion in September. This is the smallest deficit since April 2011, when the deficit was £1.5 billion.

The UK’s surplus in Trade in Services increased to £6.0 billion, up from £5.9 billion in September. Exports rose £0.2 billion to £15.4 billion whilst imports rose by less than £0.1 billion to reach £9.4 billion.

The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods decreased to £7.6 billion, down from the record deficit of £10.2 billion in September. Exports rose to a record £26.5 billion and imports fell from September’s record £34.6 billion to £34.1 billion in October.

The increase in total exports was driven by higher levels of exports of chemicals (up £0.6 billion) to both EU and non-EU countries, including increased exports of medical products to the USA. Exports of capital goods rose £0.3 billion, primarily to EU countries including higher exports of telecommunications equipment to France and Sweden. Exports of silver also rose £0.3 billion, mainly to non-EU countries including India.

The decreased level of total imports was driven by lower levels of imports of chemicals (down £0.3 billion), specifically organic chemicals, and consumer goods other than cars (down £0.2 billion). The decline in consumer goods other than cars was driven by lower imports of clothing. These were offset by higher imports of oil (up £0.3 billion) as imports of oil other than crude oil increased.

TradingEconomics.com, UK Office for National Statistics
12/9/2011 4:12:59 PM