The UK’s trade deficit narrowed in November thanks to low oil prices and cheaper imports.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK trade deficit narrowed to £3.170 billion in November from £3.507 billion the previous month. The narrowing is attributed to trade in goods where the deficit has narrowed from £11.2 billion in October 2015, to £10.6 billion in November 2015.
The narrowing in the trade in goods between October 2015 and November 2015 was because of a £0.9 billion fall in imports to £33.9 billion – mainly due to a decline in imports of oil which decreased by £0.5 billion to £2.2 billion.
In the 3 months to November 2015, the deficit on trade in goods and services was £7.7 billion; down £1.0 billion from the 3 months to August 2015.
Zach Witton, deputy chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “While the narrowing of the trade deficit for goods in November is a positive development, there’s little encouragement for UK manufacturers because it was solely driven by lower imports. Disappointingly, exports remained lacklustre.
“The UK’s export performance will be a key indicator to watch in 2016. Exports are set to remain under pressure from weak demand flowing from slower growth in emerging markets, particularly China. Yet stronger economic growth in the US and the eurozone should provide some support.”.