UK Trade Deficit at 3-Month Low


British trade gap narrowed to GBP 2.7 billion in December of 2015 from an upwardly revised GBP 4.03 billion shortfall in November. It is the lowest trade deficit in three months, due to a drop in imports of unspecified goods while falling oil prices brought oil purchases down to its lowest since February of 2009.

Total imports went down 3.6 percent to GBP 44.51 billion in December. Purchases of goods declined by GBP 1.7 billion to GBP 33.0 billion mainly reflecting a fall in imports of unspecified goods (down by GBP 1.0 billion) and oil (down by GBP 0.24 billion). Total exports declined 0.8 percent to GBP 41.8 billion. Goods sales decreased by GBP 0.08 billion. As a result, the trade in goods deficit has narrowed to GBP 9.9 billion from GBP 11.5 billion in November.

Considering the last quarter of the year, the total trade deficit including goods and services widened by GBP 1.8 billion to GBP 10.4 billion as exports declined 0.8 percent and imports rose 0.6 percent. The goods gap increased by GBP 0.9 billion: exports of goods fell by GBP 0.5 billion, to GBP 69.8 billion reflecting a GBP 0.9 billion decrease in the export of chemicals and a GBP 0.5 billion fall in oil exports. These decreases were offset by an increase in aircraft shipments of GBP 0.9 billion, reaching a record high of GBP 3.6 billion.

For full 2015 year, the deficit on trade in goods and services was GBP 34.7 billion compared with a deficit of GBP 34.4 billion in 2014. The widening was attributed to a 0.2 percent decrease in exports while imports edged down at a slower 0.1 percent. 

UK Trade Deficit at 3-Month Low


ONS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
2/9/2016 10:04:17 AM