The U.K. posted the largest trade deficit on record for November on surging oil imports that negated the highest level of exports in history, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday that the U.K.s deficit in the trade of goods and services with the rest of the world grew from £8.6 billion in October to £8.7 billion in November. Exports grew 4.1% in November to reach a record £23.6 billion, but imports added 3.4% to £32.4 billion on surging oil and aircraft purchases.
Some economists, like Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics, see the headline figure as being worse than the full picture, but Redwood acknowledged that trade would offer at best a limited boost to the wider economic recovery. Alan Clark of BNP Paribas said that he expects next trade to be a bigger contributor to economic growth in 2011, although he cited a disappointing reason for the improvement in softening domestic demand as austerity measures hit the U.K. economy.