Trade Deficit In December Lowest In 17 Months
Britain's international trade deficit has been reduced to its lowest rate in 17 months.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said December imbalance was the lowest since July 2012.
The deficit was recorded at £7.72bn, down £2.19bn on November's figure, the ONS said.
Exports in the aircraft, oil and chemical sectors helped narrow the deficit, which marks the difference between outgoing trade and imports.
There were also fewer import orders for foreign-made aircraft and ships, helping to bridge the gap.
Imports see currency being lost abroad while exports boost reserves.
Meanwhile, manufacturing output was up by 0.3% in the last month of 2013, but it was half of the predicted increase of 0.6%.
But the ONS believed the lower-than-expected rate would be insufficient to alter the GDP estimated growth in the fourth quarter of 0.7%.
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