According to the report from Office for National Statistics, the total trade deficit (goods and services) widened £0.9 billion to £10.4 billion in the three months to December 2018, due mainly to a £1.5 billion rise in goods imports.
Rising imports of cars, material manufactures and chemicals were the main contributors to the rise in goods imports in the three months to December 2018; this was offset in part by falling imports of unspecified goods (including non-monetary gold) and fuels.
The trade in goods deficit widened £1.6 billion with EU countries and narrowed £0.2 billion with non-EU countries in the three months to December 2018.
Excluding erratic commodities, the total trade deficit widened £3.8 billion to £12.9 billion in the three months to December 2018.
Removing the effect of inflation, the total trade deficit widened £0.6 billion to £7.1 billion in the three months to December 2018.
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