British trade deficit shrinks as exports hit record
Britain's trade deficit narrowed more than expected in January after a record shortfall in December as exports soared to an all-time high, official data showed on Wednesday.
The deficit shrank to £7.1 billion (8.3 billion euros, $11.5 billion) in January, which was the lowest level since February 2010, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
The January figure compared with an upwardly-revised deficit of £9.7 billion in December, topping forecasts for a deficit of £8.6 billion according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Exports jumped 5.4 percent in January to hit £25.1 billion, the highest level since records began in 1980. The ONS added that imports fell 4.0 percent to £32.2 billion.
An ONS spokesman said record exports were driven partly by an increase in sales of oil, food, drink and tobacco.
© 2011 AFP