UK Trade Deficit Narrows to 1-1/2-Year Low

British trade gap decreased to £616 million in January from a revised £2142 million in the previous month. It is the lowest shortfall since June of 2013 due to a sharp drop in oil imports and higher exports of services.

The sharp narrowing of the deficit reflects a fall of £2.5 billion in imports. Almost half of this fall (£1.2 billion) is attributed to oil imports, where trade remains volatile due to the well publicized oil price movements. The fall in oil imports is largely from countries outside the European Union (EU). In addition there were falls in all of the main commodities imported from the EU.

In January of 2015, the gap on trade in goods and services of £ 0.6 billion reflects a deficit of £8.4 billion on goods, partially offset by an estimated surplus of £7.8 billion on services.

Between December and January, exports of goods fell by £1.0 billion to £24.1 billion. This decrease reflects a £0.8 billion fall in exports of fuels (primarily oil) and a £0.3 billion fall in exports of machinery and transport equipment. Fuel exports reached their lowest level since March 2007.

Imports of goods fell by £2.5 billion to £32.5 billion, mainly reflecting a £1.3 billion fall in imports of fuels; specifically oil imports (down £1.2 billion from December 2014). Imports of manufactured goods fell by £0.9 billion between December 2014 and January 2015; within which, machinery and transport equipment, miscellaneous manufactures and chemicals each fell by £0.3 billion. 

UK Trade Deficit Narrows to 1-1/2-Year Low

ONS | Joana Taborda |
3/12/2015 10:22:37 AM