UK trade deficit increases significantly in August 2012
Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has unveiled that the UK's trade deficit increased more than twice in August than in July.
Seasonally adjusted, the UK's deficit on trade in goods and services was £4.2 billion in August, compared with a deficit of £1.7 billion in July.
Accordingly, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries widened by £0.5 billion – from £4.4 billion in July to £4.9 billion in August. Exports decreased by less than £0.1 billion - 0.5% - to £12.4 billion. Imports increased by £0.4 billion - 2.4% - to £17.2 billion.
There was a deficit of £9.8 billion on goods in the UK, partly offset by an estimated surplus of £5.7 billion on services.
In the three months ending August 2012, trade in goods and services was estimated to have been in deficit by £9.8 billion, compared with a deficit of £9.2 billion in the preceding three months.
Excluding oil and erratic items, the volume of exports was 1.2% lower in the three months ending August 2012 compared with the preceding three months. The volume of imports fell 0.8% over the same period.
The period includes the Olympic Games in August. It is believed to have affected international travel, tourism and employment.
"For most economic statistics, any direct effects of the Olympics will be mainly seen in the August estimates," the ONS said.
According to the ONS, industrial production declined by 1.2% last month from the same month in 2011.
In manufacturing, the largest falls were recorded in chemical products, which fell by 9%, and in food, drinks and tobacco.