UK Trade Gap Narrows
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show a surprise fall in the UK’s trade deficit, dropping to an 18-month low in December 2008.
The total UK deficit on trade in goods & services combined was down from £4.0 billion in November to £3.6 billion in December.
Splitting these two main areas up, there was a surplus on trade in services in December; down from a surplus of £4.1 billion (in November) to £3.8 billion.
The deficit on trade in goods was down from £8.1 billion (Nov) to £7.4 billion (Dec)
Whilst the figures seem encouraging for just one month the positive stems from a "weakness in imports rather than a strength in exports." according to a comment on the BBC with Howard Archer from Global Insight, the world’s largest economics organisation.
Overall, last year saw a provisional increase in the trade gap from a total of £89.3 billion in 2007 to a slightly smaller £93.2 billion.
For the full report, take a look at the ONS’ UK Trade December 2008 first release (222K PDF)