Imports of goods and services to the UK rose 1.6 percent to an all-time high of GBP 55.45 billion from GBP 54.59 billion in the previous month, boosted by a 2.1 percent increase in purchases of goods, mainly fuels (15.9 percent), and a 0.2 percent gain in imports of services. Among trading partners, imports of goods from non-EU countries jumped 6.7 percent, mainly from Canada (74.5 percent), Switzerland (51.2 percent), Norway (44.1 percent), the US (16.1 percent) and China (4.9 percent). On the other hand, purchases from the EU dropped 1.7 percent, as imports decreased the most from Spain (-19.8 percent) and Germany (-10.5 percent).
Exports from the UK increased at a slower 0.6 percent to GBP 52.65 billion in November from GBP 52.32 billion in October, due to higher sales of goods (1 percent) and services (0.2 percent). Among major trading partners, exports of goods to the EU grew 2.6 percent, as sales increased mainly to the Netherlands (21.1 percent), Belgium & Luxembourg (13 percent) and Ireland (7.6 percent) while exports fell to France (-15.4 percent). By contrast, exports of goods to non-EU countries declined 0.6 percent, namely to Canada (-11.3 percent), Japan (-8.7 percent), the US (-6 percent) and South Korea (-25.3 percent), while exports rose to Hong Kong (38.8 percent) and China (28.4 percent).
In the three months to November 2017, the trade deficit narrowed by GBP 2.1 billion to GBP 6.2 billion, largely due to an increase in exports of goods, mainly unspecified goods (particularly non-monetary gold), and machinery and transport equipment.