By Jonathan Davies

There was a big drop in the UK's trade deficit in August, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The difference between the amount of goods imported by the UK and the amount it exports fell significantly to £1.9bn in August, down from £3.1bn in July.

The ONS said there was a "large fall" in imports, but added that there was a £700m drop in exports, which is disappointing news for the UK government. The government has focused on driving exports as a key way of re-balancing the economic recovery.

In separate figures, the ONS said construction output in the UK fell by 3.9% in August, after a 1.9% in July.

David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

"The strong fall in the trade deficit is extremely positive, but we must point out the main factor behind this was a fall in imports that was even larger than the decline in exports.

"Although this can be largely attributed to oil, it is disappointing that even non-oil exports were stagnant. Monthly figures can be volatile, but even longer-term comparisons show that the UK's export performance at national level is inadequate.

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