UK trade deficit widens in May
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed the UK’s trade deficit widened in May to £8.48 billion from a revised £7.6 billion in April.
The figures surprised economists who had expected the trade gap to narrow to £7.3 billion.
Meanwhile, the ONS said exports rose by 4.2% on a monthly basis to £25.4 billion, while imports were 5.7% higher on the month at £33.8 billion.
The deficit on trade in goods with EU countries widened to £3.4 billion in May from a deficit of £3.1 billion in April.
In other news today, the ONS announced Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) unexpected fell to annual rate of 4.2% last month from May’s 2½-year high of 4.5%.
However, the figure remains more than double the target of 2% and has been above this level since December 2009 and is expected to remain above target during 2012.
Meanwhile, Retail Price Inflation (RPI), which includes mortgage costs and is used as the basis for many wage deals, also fell to 5% from 5.2% in May, said the ONS.