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UK trade deficit widens by £2.6 billion over November

Staff Writer |
The UK trade deficit widened markedly in November due to surge in imports, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, sending the pound spiralling lower.

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The overall trade deficit yawned to £4.2bn by the end of November up from October's unusually small deficit of £1.5bn.

A £3.3bn increase in imports during the month was only partially offset by a £0.7bn increase in exports.

ONS attributed the widening of the deficit to increased imports of goods from both EU and non-EU countries.

Total trade prices for exports fell 1.9% and imports by 1% as sterling recovered slightly following the large falls earlier in 2016.

Economist Howard Archer at IHS Markit said the trade deficit appeared to remain on course for a narrowing in the fourth quarter compared to the £13.6bn third, "obviously welcome news for bringing down the troubling high current account deficit."

He said a rising volume of exports in November and October suggested support may be increasingly coming from the weakened pound.

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