The UK's goods trade gap widened more than expected hit by sluggish exports to a weak European economy.
Official figures for September showed the nation’s trade gap jumped to £9.8 billion from £9 billion in August — wider than the £9.4 billion pencilled in by analysts, and dealing yet another blow to the hopes of Chancellor George Osborne that exports will drive growth.
Britain’s trade deficit with the European Union widened to £5.8 billion from £5.3 billion over the month as a modest 0.9 per cent rise in exports was far outstripped by a 3.7 epr cent jump in exports.
Germany remains the UK’s largest trading partner. But between July and September the UK recorded its largest-ever deficit with Germany due to a gradual decline in exports and rising imports.
The UK’s surplus with the US was also at its lowest level for nearly eight years, although the trade gap with China and Hong Kong improved. Over the quarter the overall trade deficit grew, dragging on wider economic growth.Reuse content