UK Trade Deficit Widens Sharply in September

The trade gap in the United Kingdom widened by GBP 1.4 billion to GBP 5.2 billion in September from August of 2016, reaching the highest in three months. Exports fell 0.4 percent while imports jumped 2.5 percent, hitting a record high and boosted by purchases of ships, material manufactures, road vehicles and oil.
ONS | Joana Taborda | 11/9/2016 12:28:52 PM
Total exports decreased by GBP 0.2 billion to GBP 45.4 billion while total imports rose by GBP 1.25 billion to GBP 50.6 billion.

Considering only goods, the trade deficit was GBP 12.7 billion, widening by GBP 1.6 billion from August. The goods deficit with EU countries reached an all time high of GBP 8.7 billion. 

Exports of goods declined 0.8 percent to GBP 26.08 billion: sales to countries outside the EU decreased by GBP 0.3 billion, reflecting a fall in ships and aircraft of GBP 0.2 billion each and unspecified goods, which includes nonmonetary gold, of GBP 0.2 billion. In contrast, shipments of goods to EU countries increased by GBP 0.1 billion or 1.1 percent. 

Imports of goods went up 3.6 percent to GBP 38.7 billion: imports from EU countries increased by GBP 1.0 billion or 5 percent to record GBP 21.3 billion; there were increases in imports of machinery and transport equipment of GBP 0.7 billion, food and live animals of GBP 0.1 billion, oil of GBP 0.1 billion and miscellaneous manufactures of GBP 0.1 billion. Imports of goods from countries outside the EU increased by GBP 0.3 billion, reflecting rises in imports of material manufactures of GBP 0.5 billion, ships of GBP 0.5 billion, oil of GBP 0.2 billion and miscellaneous manufactures of GBP 0.2 billion. These increases were partially offset by a fall in imports of aircraft of GBP 1.0 billion.

Considering the third quarter of 2016, the total trade deficit including both goods and services narrowed by GBP 1.6 billion to GBP 11.0 billion as exports (+3.4 percent) rose faster than imports (2 percent). Both total trade exports and imports reached record 3-monthly highs in Quarter 3 2016 of GBP 136.2 billion and GBP 147.3 billion respectively.

Although the pound fell more than 10% against the USD and the EUR after the Brexit vote, there was little direct evidence so far of currency effects on trade, the ONS said. 

UK Trade Deficit Widens Sharply in September