The U.K.’s goods trade deficit narrowed broadly in line with market expectations in November, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the U.K. Office for National Statistics said the country''s goods trade deficit narrowed to a seasonally adjusted GBP9.44 billion in November from a deficit of GBP9.65 billion in October. Economists had expected the goods trade deficit to narrow to GBP9.45 billion in November.
Seasonally adjusted, the U.K.''s deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been GBP3.2 billion in November 2013, compared with a deficit of GBP3.5 billion in October 2013.
There was a deficit of GBP9.4 billion on goods, partly offset by an estimated surplus of GBP6.2 billion on services.
In November, exports of goods to countries within the European Union increased by GBP0.6 billion to GBP12.8 billion. Over the same period imports from the EU increased by GBP0.5 billion to GBP19.2 billion, a record high.
U.K. trade data shows the extent of import and export activity, a key contributor to the overall economic growth of the U.K.
Following the release of the data, the pound was higher against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.06% to trade at 1.6458.
Meanwhile, European stock markets held on to gains in rangebound trade. London’s FTSE 100 inched up 0.25%, the EURO STOXX 50 advanced 0.6%, France’s CAC 40 tacked on 0.25%, while Germany''s DAX added 0.4%.