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Trade Gap - Another dismal record


Britain’s trade gap in goods with the rest of the world reached a new record last November. The deficit was £8.33 billion, the Office for National Statistics said, up from October’s figure of £7.63 billion.

Manufacturing output has now fallen for nine months running. It fell in November at its fastest pace since 1981. Output was 7.4 per cent lower than a year earlier – the biggest drop since June 1981.

The collapse in world demand means that the cheaper pound is not making our exports sell. Even orthodox economists are calling for more state action to aid the economy. Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said, “The pound is now about 30 per cent below its peak. But with global trade flows subdued, this is unlikely to make much difference, at least in the near term. Overall, with the external sector so weak, policymakers will need to do much more to stimulate domestic activity.”