U.K. October Trade Deficit Narrows


The U.K. trade deficit narrowed in October as exports increased, a sign the strength of global economic growth and the pound's drop against the euro is helping British companies sell their products overseas.

The goods trade gap was 7.1 billion pounds ($14.5 billion) compared with a record 8 billion pounds in September, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. Economists forecast a 7.4 billion-pound deficit, according to the median of 22 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

The pound has fallen 7 percent against the euro this year, making British products cheaper in the countries sharing the currency and buoying manufacturing production. The Bank of England lowered the benchmark interest rate last week on concern that higher credit costs will slow the economy enough to squeeze out inflation pressures.

Exports rose 1.8 percent and imports fell 1.9 percent on the month, the statistics office said. The overall deficit for goods and services narrowed to 4.1 billion pounds from 4.8 billion pounds in September.

Sales to non-European countries increased by 5.5 percent, while exports to the European Union stayed close to the highest level since August 2006, today's report showed.


Bloomberg
12/11/2007 6:29:48 AM