The trade deficit in the United Kingdom narrowed by £1.1 billion to £4.5 billion in July 2016 from an upwardly revised £5.6 billion in June.
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Exports increased by 1.9 percent, boosted by a 3.4 percent rise in the export of goods, while imports declined by 0.5 percent.
Between the 3 months to April 2016 and the 3 months to July 2016, the total trade deficit widened by £5.1 billion to £14.1 billion, the widest deficit since the 3 months to December 2013.
Between June 2016 and July 2016, total exports (goods and services) increased by £0.8 billion, or 1.9 percent, to £43.8 billion; this increase reflected a £0.8 billion, or 3.4 percent, increase in the export of goods.
Total imports (goods and services) decreased by £0.3 billion, or 0.5 percent, to £48.3 billion over the same period, reflecting a £0.3 billion, or 0.9 percent, fall in imports of goods.
The deficit on trade in goods was £11.8 billion in July 2016, narrowing by £1.2 billion from June 2016. This narrowing mainly reflects an increase in exports. Exports of ships increased by £0.5 billion and exports of fuels increased by £0.5 billion: specifically oil which increased by £0.4 billion.
There were smaller increases in exports of food, beverages and tobacco (combined), miscellaneous manufactures and machinery of £0.1 billion each. These increases were offset by a £0.5 billion decrease in the exports of aircraft. Over the same period imports of goods fell; with a decrease in the imports of cars of £0.3 billion.
Between June 2016 and July 2016, exports of goods to EU countries increased by £1.0 billion, or 9.1 percent, to £12.5 billion, mainly reflecting an increase in exports of oil (£0.5 billion) and miscellaneous manufactures (£0.3 billion), of which jewellery increased by £0.2 billion to a record high.
Imports of goods from EU countries increased by £0.4 billion to £20.1 billion in July 2016; there were increases in oil, chemicals, material manufactures and miscellaneous manufactures (£0.1 billion each). These rises were offset by a fall in imports of cars and aircraft from the EU (£0.2 billion each).
Between June 2016 and July 2016, exports of goods to countries outside the EU decreased by £0.2 billion, reflecting a fall in aircraft (£0.6 billion).
Imports of goods from countries outside the EU decreased by £0.7 billion, reflecting falls in unspecified goods (£0.4 billion) and oil (£0.2 billion). These falls were offset by an increase in imports of aircraft (£0.4 billion).
Between the 3 months to April 2016 and the 3 months to July 2016, the total trade deficit (goods and services) widened by £5.1 billion to £14.1 billion, the widest deficit since the 3 months to December 2013.
The trade position reflects exports minus imports; the widening of the deficit reflected both a fall in exports (1.7%) and a rise in imports (2.1%). Imports of goods and services reached a record high of £143.6 billion in the 3 months to July 2016. ■