The giant trade gap between Britain and the rest of the world widened during the month of April, which has been attributed to the devastating effects of the volcanic ash. In particular, the Office for National Statistics blamed the forced closure of airspace for six days, which affected imports and exports.
According to the official figures, the goods trade deficit rose from £7.259b in March up to £7.279b in April.
Encomiasts predicted that the shortfall would be about £7b because they thought that the weak pound may help boost back up exports by decreasing the price of domestic goods. Instead, exports fell by .6% and imports followed suit falling by .4%.
The goods trade gap did narrow a bit in terms of non-EU countries to just £3.9991b which was in line with predictions by top analysts.
Investec economist Philip Shaw stated that the figures were disappointing to see at first, but the ash from the volcano makes it much harder to read into the actual results making the policy implications of the statistics close to zero.
Economists had been previously hoping that by building a stronger trade performance within the private sector the pain of the budget deficit cuts would be lessened which are due to be announced on June 22nd at the emergency Budget address.
ISH Global Insight economist, Howard Archer, stated that April trade values do little to give businesses hope in net trade, instead painting a picture that is quite frustrating and includes more waiting.