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UK trade deficit widens in October

Staff Writer |
The UK trade deficit widened by GBP 0.97 billion to GBP 3.30 billion in October 2018 from an upwardly revised GBP 2.33 billion in the previous month.

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Imports of goods and services to the UK rose 2.8 percent to GBP 56.68 billion in October from GBP 55.17 billion in the previous month.

The increase was driven by a 3.5 percent jump in purchases of goods, such as machinery & transport equipment (5.4 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (4.5 percent), chemicals (7.7 percent), fuels (1.1 percent), material manufactures (5.1 percent), and food & live animals (2.6 percent). Imports of services went up 0.5 percent.

Among major trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries went up 6 percent, as purchases increased the most from China (9.3 percent), the US (11.3 percent), Norway (32.5 percent), Japan (5.9 percent), Russia (7.4 percent) and India (7.1 percent); while those from Turkey dropped 3.2 percent.

In addition, imports from the EU increased 1.4 percent, mainly from Germany (7.7 percent), the Netherlands (0.6 percent), France (0.1 percent), Belgium (0.2 percent), Italy (4.3 percent) and Spain (2.1 percent).

There was a decline in imports from Ireland (-8.5 percent) and Poland (-2 percent).

Meanwhile, exports of goods and services from the UK advanced at a softer 1 percent to an all-time high of GBP 53.38 billion in October from GBP 52.83 billion in the previous month, due to sales of services (1.3 percent) and goods (0.8 percent).

Within goods commodities, increases were recorded in exports of chemicals (11.6 percent), miscellaneous manufactures (2.5 percent) and food & live animals (1.5 percent); while falls were seen in sales of machinery & transport equipment (-5.3 percent) and material manufactures (-0.4 percent).

Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU went up 3 percent, as sales increased mainly to Germany (4.2 percent), the Netherlands (12.5 percent), France (8.9 percent) and Ireland (1.4 percent); while there was a decline in exports to Belgium (-5.9 percent) and Italy (-0.4 percent).

By contrast, sales to non-EU countries fell 1.1 percent, namely to Hong Kong (-10.6 percent), the UAE (-9.1 percent), Switzerland (-4.3 percent), Canada (-30.2 percent), Turkey (-17.7 percent) and Australia (-11.2 percent).

Exports were higher to the US (13.1 percent), China (5.7 percent), Japan (8.2 percent), South Korea (14.6 percent) and India (3.2 percent).

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