The UK’s goods trade deficit widened in November to its worst in five months but manufacturing output grew slightly faster than expected, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics said the UK’s global goods trade deficit widened from an upwardly revised £11.7 billion in October to £12.2bn in November as imports grew faster than exports. The deterioration was driven by a widening of the UK’s goods trade deficit with countries outside the European Union from £3.37bn to £4.68bn.

UK manufacturing

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output rose 0.4 per cent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, separate ONS figures showed. Economists had forecast a 0.3 per cent increase.

Broader industrial production, which includes mining and quarrying, oil and gas extraction, and electricity, gas and water supply as well as manufacturing output, also rose by 0.4 per cent in November. Oil and gas extraction fell by two per cent, having risen by 2.9 per cent during October.

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research think-tank yesterday raised its forecast of UK growth in the fourth quarter of last year from 0.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent.

This would be better than the weak growth recorded in each of the three quarters to last September. The NIESR cited a “buoyant global economy” as one factor in its belief that the fourth quarter would have seen faster growth.