The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned of a major challenge ahead for the UK following a widening in trade deficit.
Figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the deficit in goods and services in October 2015 was £4.1bn – a widening of £3.1bn from September.
In the three months to October 2015, the trade deficit in goods and services was £2.4bn larger than in the previous three months.
“After the increase in the trade deficit recorded in Q3, these figures raise the risk that trade will continue to be a drag on UK growth into the fourth quarter,” said the BCC’s Chief Economist, David Kern.
“Although the main reason for the wider deficit in October was a surge in imports, it is clear that our exports are not growing fast enough to close the gap, as our recent forecast demonstrates.
“If we are to redress the balance and reverse our long-running trade deficit more must be done to help support export growth, including improved access to funding for those looking to export.”