Trade figures 'show UK suffering'
Wednesday 09 November 2011
The gap between goods imported and exported in the UK hit a record high in September, official figures revealed today, as deepening troubles in the eurozone took their toll.
The deficit on trade in goods widened to £9.8 billion in September, compared to an upwardly revised £8.6 billion gap the previous month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The record gap came as the volume of exports, excluding oil, fell 1.6%, which was driven by exports to the EU - down 3% - while import volumes were up 1.6%, driven by chemicals and consumer goods.
Vicky Redwood, chief UK economist at Capital Economics, said: "September's trade figures suggest that the UK is already suffering the adverse effects of the eurozone crisis."
The figures, which also showed the gap in trade of goods and services widening to an 11-month high of £3.9 billion, will be a blow to Chancellor George Osborne, who has pinned his hopes on an export-driven recovery in the private sector.
The figures are not likely to improve as the crisis in the eurozone deepens, with Greece closer to defaulting on its debts and Italy now on the brink of requiring a bailout from the EU and IMF.
But trade and investment minister Lord Green said the UK was working on boosting trade with emerging markets in the wake of increased uncertainty on the continent.
Lord Green said trade was "at the heart" of the Government's plan for growth and actions were being taken to support its vision.
The decline in the volume of exports was driven by consumer goods, other than cars, which fell 5%, the ONS said.
The value of exports rose by less than £100 million, or 0.2%, in September, while import values rose 3.8% to £34.3 billion.
Benjamin Williamson, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: "The problems within the eurozone, by far the UK's largest trade partner, have worsened of late with Greece and then Italy looking increasingly likely to default on their debts.
"This would be bad news for the UK in the short-term and could push us back into recession next year."
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...