UK trade deficit largest in 6 monthsChristian Fernsby ▼ | December 10, 2019
The total UK trade deficit widened sharply to GBP 5.19 billion in October 2019, the biggest since April, from a revised GBP 1.92 billion in the previous month.
British economy UK construction
Topics: Trade deficit UK
Imports of goods and services to the UK rose 6.2 percent from a month earlier to GBP 64.13 billion in October, following a 3.8 percent increase in September.
Goods purchases jumped 8.3 percent, boosted by fuels (17.8 percent), chemicals (14.3 percent), food and live animals (5.8 percent), machinery and transport equipment (3.9 percent), and miscellaneous manufactures (1.4 percent). In addition, services imports advanced 1.3 percent.
Among major trading partners, imports of goods from the EU advanced 4.4 percent, boosted by increases in purchases from Germany (4.6 percent), the Netherlands (11.5 percent), France (5.8 percent), Belgium (3.2 percent), Spain (2.4 percent), Ireland (9.1 percent) and Poland (1.8 percent).
Meanwhile, purchases from non-EU countries rose 12.7 percent, driven by imports from China (15.9 percent), the US (5.9 percent), Switzerland (59.8 percent), Norway (43.9 percent), Turkey (19.8 percent), India (39.5 percent), Canada (6.5 percent), Australia (53.4 percent) and Hong Kong (5.0 percent). By contrast, shipments from Japan and Russia dropped 4.9 and 6.4 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, exports from the UK increased 0.8 percent from a month earlier to an all-time high of GBP 58.94 billion, following a 0.6 percent advance in September. Sales of goods rose 1.8 percent on the back of chemicals (1.9 percent), material manufactures (4.0 percent), machinery and transport equipment (1.4 percent), and miscellaneous manufactures (7.9 percent).
Still, fuel exports slumped 11.7 percent. Exports of services, on the other hand, dropped 0.2 percent.
Goods exports to the EU rose 5.7 percent, in particular to Germany (5.7 percent), France (4.5 percent), the Netherlands (8.2 percent), Ireland (10.2 percent), Belgium (13.9 percent), Spain (2.3 percent), Italy (5.9 percent), Sweden (11.5 percent) and Denmark (14.8 percent).
Exports to non-EU countries went down 1.5 percent, mostly to China (-9.1 percent), Hong Kong (-10.4 percent), Switzerland (-11.5 percent), Canada (-10.1 percent), Singapore (-12.3 percent) and Norway (-10.0 percent).
On the other hand, increases were seen in exports to the US (8.3 percent), the UAE (7.3 percent), Japan (8.9 percent), Australia (25.9 percent), Turkey (2.3 percent), India (21.0 percent), Saudi Arabia (41.5 percent) and South Korea (6.1 percent). ■