Business

UK trade deficit narrows in January on oil price falls

Petrol pump Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The narrowing of the deficit was mostly due to declining oil exports and imports

The UK trade deficit has narrowed to £616m in January from a five-year high of £2.1bn in December, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed.

Imports decreased by £2.5bn from December 2014, the largest monthly decrease since July 2006.

The large decrease in imports was mainly due to a £1.3bn fall in the imports of fuels, specifically oil.

Imports of oil were £2.2bn in January, their lowest level since May 2009.

Excluding the impact of falling oil prices on the trade deficit, which also led to a decline of UK fuel exports, the balance of trade in goods excluding oil also narrowed to a deficit of £7.8bn.

That was the lowest monthly deficit in goods since June 2013.

The UK's goods trade deficit with the 28 EU nations narrowed slightly to £6.67bn.

The pound was ahead against the dollar after the ONS data announcement, with sterling strengthening by 0.44% against the greenback.

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