British trade deficit in goods hit a new high as aircraft imports jumped in December to avoid paying bigger VAT sales tax, coupled with bad weather and heavy snow disrupting exports through seaports and airports.
The figures are in line with the shock contraction of the economy witnessed in December and may bolster the opinion held by a section of economists that the recovery will not be without pain.
The goods trade gap widened to £9.247 billion from £8.46 billion recorded in November, data released by Office for National Statistics show. Economists had forecasted a near flat reading of £8.6 billion.
The ONS said it is possible that business may have somewhat recovered at the end of December, although the country witnessed the coldest year end in a 100 years.
The deficit in goods trade – excluding volatile items such as oil and one off jumps in items such as aircrafts, rose to £8.175 billion from £7.382 billion, highest since monthly record keeping began in 1980.
The total deficit in trades and services dipped to £4.831 billion from £3.947 billion in November, the lowest recorded since August 2005.