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The UK's trade deficit in goods narrowed unexpectedly in January, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday.
The deficit fell to GBP 8.2 billion in January from GBP 8.7 billion in December. This was forecast to increase to GBP 8.95 billion. A year ago, the trade balance recorded a shortfall of GBP 8.1 billion.
According to the statistical office, the decline in deficit was due to an unusually low figure for the balance of trade in oil, with exports up by around GBP 0.3 billion on the previous month and imports down very sharply by more than GBP 1 billion.
At the same time, ONS noted that monthly trade in oil can be volatile. The UK's trade deficit with EU countries widened during the month while trade deficit with non-EU countries narrowed.
Exports of goods decreased 3.5 percent month-on-month to GBP 24.4 billion and imports fell 4.2 percent to GBP 32.6 billion.
The deficit on trade in goods and services was GBP 2.4 billion in January, compared with a deficit of GBP 2.8 billion in December.
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