UK trade gap narrows as US exports recover

The UK's trade deficit narrowed 24% in February as imports from the US fell to their lowest level since July 1995, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed today.

The UK's trade deficit narrowed 24% in February as imports from the US fell to their lowest level since July 1995, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed today.

The ONS said the improved trade position with the US helped the UK February global trade in goods deficit narrow to a seasonally adjusted £4.2bn (€6.3bn), from a revised £5.5bn (€8.3bn) the previous month.

US imports slipped down to £1.6bn (€2.4bn) in February from £1.8bn (€2.7bn) the previous month and exports, mainly industrial goods and chemicals, increased 17% on the month to £2.2bn (€3.3bn).

The UK recorded a trade deficit in goods with EU countries of £2.2bn (€3.3bn) in the month compared with a £2.1bn (€3.1bn) shortfall in January.

Total exports rose by 1.2% on the month , while imports fell 3.7%. The non-EU deficit for February was £2.1bn compared with £3.4bn the previous month.

January's record trade deficit had raised concerns that sterling's rise against the dollar was hitting exports and February's figures now dilute these concerns.

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