Britain's trade deficit widened in 2018 amid Brexit uncertainty: ONS
Britain's total trade deficit for goods and services widened 8.4 billion pounds (10.83 billion U.S. dollars) to 32.3 billion pounds in 2018, due mainly to a 7.2-billion-pound increase in service imports, figures published Monday by the Office for National Statistics showed.
The widening of the trade deficit was due mainly to a narrowing of 6.6 billion pounds in the trade in services surplus; the goods deficit widened by a lesser 1.8 billion pounds, the office explained.
The largest contributors to the increase in services imports were transport, travel and other business services, said the office.
In the three months to December 2018, removing the effect of inflation, the total trade deficit widened 0.6 billion pounds to 7.1 billion pounds.
Goods exports fell 0.7 billion pounds, while goods imports rose 1.9 billion pounds in the three months to December 2018. Meanwhile, services exports increased 2.1 billion pounds, with imports increasing 0.05 billion pounds.
The widening of the trade in goods deficit in volume terms was partially offset by a widening in the services surplus in the three months to December 2018, said the ONS.