LONDON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Britain's total deficit in trade in goods and services narrowed to 1.5 billion pounds (2.4 billion U.S. dollars) in July, a sharp decline from 4.3 billion pounds deficit in June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday.
According to the official figures, British deficit in trade in goods dropped to 7.1 billion pounds in July, down from 10.1 billion pounds in the previous month. The figure was the smallest amount for 17 months thanks to a record high exports to non-EU countries.
Meanwhile, exports of goods increased by 2.2 billion pounds or 9.3 percent in July, from 23.6 billion pounds in June to 25.8 billion pounds in July, said the ONS.
Exports to non-EU countries increased 11 percent to 13.2 billion pounds in July, the highest amount since the statistics began in 1998.
But imports of goods fell by 0.7 billion pounds or 2.1 percent, from 33.6 billion pounds in June to 32.9 billion pounds in July.
Market expectations had been for the trade deficit to fall to 8.9 billion pounds in July, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
The ONS said in addition to higher oil exports to Europe, exports were lifted by hike in the sale of chemicals and consumer goods to non-EU countries.