UK trade deficit rises slightly

The British trade deficit rose slightly to £4.1 billion in November, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

Whereas the surplus on trade in services remained unchanged from October—an estimated £4.6 billion—the trade in goods deficit increased to £8.7 billion from £8.6 billion in the previous month.

In November, the balance on trade in oil was in deficit by £0.7 billion, compared with a surplus of less than £0.1 billion in October. Oil exports rose by £0.3 billion to £3.0 billion and oil imports rose by £1.0 billion to £3.6 billion. (article continues below)

Excluding oil and items with volatile prices, exports saw a 3.4% increase compared to 0.3% increase in the volume of imports.

However, in the three months ending in November, total imports had risen by £2.9 billion to £94.2 billion, whereas exports rose by £1.7 billion to £68.5 billion.

The largest imports increase came from outside the EU, with a rise of £0.7 billion coming from oil producer Norway.