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Falling pound fails to boost exports

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Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the goods and services deficit – the gap between exports and imports – rose from £3.7bn in August as exports fell by £200m and imports increased by £1.2bn.

The trade gap narrowed overall in the third quarter as exports of goods rose by 6.1% thanks to strong overseas demand in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote.

The Brexit-hit pound may help net trade next year but an expert warned that “the restructuring of the economy towards exports look set to be particularly sluggish”. The ONS said imports hit a record £38.8bn in September, up by £1.3bn since August, due to growing demand for ships, material manufactures and road vehicles.