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UK trade gap narrows more than expected in January

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by Kay Mitchell

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed the UK’s trade deficit narrowed more than expected in January, as exports surged.

According to the ONS, the global goods trade gap narrowed to £7.09 billion in the month from £9.69 billion in December.

The deficit represents the smallest in almost a year and economists had expected a January trade gap of £8.5 billion.

December’s figure represented the biggest deficit since monthly records began more than 30 years ago. However, the figure was attributed to the month’s coldest weather for more than a century.

According to Ross Walker, an economist at RBS Financial Markets, “Today’s number is encouraging but there is clearly a lot of short term volatility in these figures.”

Meanwhile, the narrowing was attributed to a vast improvement in export volumes, which were up 6.1% on the month, stripping out oil and erratic items. Import volumes on this basis grew 1.9%.

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News posted: March 9, 2011

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