News : UK Trade deficit widens
The UK's trade deficit widened in February as exports of goods to non-EU countries dipped, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
ONS statistics have revealed that the deficit on the trade in goods and services increased to £3.4bn from a revised £2.5bn in January.
The goods trade deficit came in at £8.8bn – well above the £7.7bn the market had been expecting. The decrease in exports was driven by lower sales of vehicles to the US, Russia and China.
The seasonally adjusted volume of exports was 5.3% lower, and the volume of imports was 0.9% lower in February, compared with January.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the EEF manufacturers' organisation, said the figures added to the "ups and downs" of recent manufacturing data. Last week, ONS data showed a surprise 1% fall in UK manufacturing output in February.
"There is a growing confidence amongst UK manufacturers that they can secure growth in emerging markets, but the figures remind of the challenges we face in meeting the governments ambitious target to double our UK exports in the face of continuing uncertainty in global markets," said Hopley.