Imports advanced 2.4 percent to GBP 56.35 billion in August from GBP 55.02 billion in the previous month. The increase was driven by a 3.1 percent gain in imports of goods and a 0.6 percent rise in services. Among purchases of goods, higher imports were recorded in chemicals (7.6 percent), fuels (7.9 percent), and both crude materials and beverages and tobacco (4.7 percent). On the other hand, imports declined for animal and vegetable oils and fats (-3.1 percent), food and live animals (-0.6 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (-0.6 percent) and unspecific goods (-15.4 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries advanced 7.2 percent, while from the EU countries fell 0.5 percent.
Exports of goods and services from the UK rose 1.1 percent to GBP 55.07 billion in August, mostly due to higher sales of goods (1.4 percent), namely miscellaneous manufactures (5.9 percent), fuels (4.4 percent), food and live animals (3.2 percent), machinery and transport equipment (2.4 percent) and beverages and tobacco (2.3 percent). Meanwhile, sales dropped for animal and vegetable oils (-9.3 percent), crude materials (-4.4 percent), chemicals (-3.4 percent), unspecified goods (-8.5 percent) and material manufactures (-1.3 percent).
Among trading partners, exports of goods to non-EU countries increased 1.7 percent and to the EU rose 1.1 percent.
In the three months to July, the trade deficit narrowed GBP 4.7 billion to GBP 2.8 billion, as exports of goods and services both rose faster than imports.