By Daniel Hunter

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the gap between imports and exports of goods was at its widest for almost a year in September.

The ONS said the goods trade deficit widened to £9.816 billion, compared with £9.557 billion in August.

Including services, in which the UK traditionally has a surplus, the overall trade deficit also widened slightly to £3.268 billion.

David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “The UK is not doing enough to plug the export gap and rebalance our economy towards net exports. While the quarterly figures paint a disappointing picture, it is important to remember that our trade deficit is now smaller than before the financial crisis, and we have made progress in improving our trade balance in services.

“While our exporters are looking towards faster-growing markets outside the EU, this process must be accelerated. The government can ensure that our global traders can compete on a level playing field with our international competitors. We have long said that more attention and resources need to be allocated towards boosting UK exports, with a strong focus on trade finance, insurance and promotion.”

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