Trade gap widens: triple-dip ahead?

Economists are concerned at the possibility of a triple-dip recession after the UK's imports outstripped its exports by more than expected in October.

by Michael Northcott

Britain imported £3.6bn more in goods and services than it exported in the month of October according to the Office for National Statistics, a massive increase on the £2.5bn difference the previous month. 

The gap widened mainly because of goods, where we imported £9.5bn more than we exported. This is a £1bn increase on the trade gap for goods specifically – which is huge – but it was offset by a £5.9bn services surplus for the period.

The figures are a worry for the chancellor, George Osborne, whose Autumn Statement yesterday is already seen by many as too weak a plan. In his speech, Osborne revealed a new fund of £1.5bn for finance guarantees to help exporters, but if the imbalance is so heavily ingrained, it does not bode well for growth next year.

Sign in to continue

Sign in

Trouble signing in?

Reset password: Click here


Call: 020 8267 8121



  • Up to 4 free articles a month
  • Free email bulletins

Register Now

Get 30 days free access

Sign up for a 30 day free trial and get:

  • Full access to
  • Exclusive event discounts
  • Management Today's print magazine

Join today