The deficit of trade balance of the United Kingdom with the European Union widened to a record high, with exports in the last three months fell to six-year low.
According to the Office for National Statistics, in January the UK deficit of trade reached £ 8.1 billion. During the last three months, the deficit increased to £ 23 billion. Both figures are record high since 1998. Exports to the 28 EU countries during the quarter to January fell to £ 32.7 million, which is the lowest since 2009.
Against the background of the upcoming referendum on the country's membership in the EU, which will take place in three months, supporters and opponents of «Brexit» closely monitor the development of economic relations between the United Kingdom and the EU. Those who support the country's withdrawal from the union, argued that the UK should focus on new markets, while those who are against the so-called «Brexit», emphasized that the participating EU, Britain has a leading position in world trade.
Expanding EU trade deficit is mainly due to an increase in imports. The EU remains the largest trading partner of the UK, accounting for nearly 50% of exports.
The total UK goods trade deficit in January amounted to £ 10.3 billion, which corresponds to the median estimate of economists. Given the surplus of trade in services, the overall trade deficit in goods and services amounted to £ 3.5 billion.
A separate report also showed that the volume of construction decreased by 0.2% in January compared to December, and by 0.8% on an annualized basis.