The falling price of oil helped to narrow the UK's trade gap with the rest of the world in November to its lowest since June 2013, official figures showed here Friday.
The Office for national statistics (ONS) said the UK's deficit in goods and services was 1.4bn pounds in November, compared with 2.2bn pounds in October. But it said this reflected a fall in the value of imports rather than an increase in export activity. Imports fell 1.1bn in the month, which included a 700 million pounds fall in oil imports. The trade position reflects exports minus imports. Between October and November, exports decreased by 200 million pounds to 42 bn pounds and imports decreased by 1 bn pounds to 43.4 bn. Separate figures from the ONS indicated UK industrial and construction activity eased in November.
Industrial production shrank 0.1% between October and November, although compared with a year earlier it increased by 1.1%. The month-on-month fall was partly due to a 5% fall in oil and gas output during November because of maintenance work in the North Sea.
The figures also showed that construction output shrank 2% in November compared with a month earlier, although it was up 3.6% from the same point a year earlier.