17:52 GMT18 January 2021
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    The United Kingdom's balance of trade deteriorated by almost 1 billion UK pounds ($1.3 billion) in June, hitting a deficit of over 5 billion, the lowest level since July last year, figures from the country's Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — UK exports failed to catch up with the country's imports, which soared by nearly 2 billion pounds to a record of 48.9 billion, the ONS said in its latest statement on the balance of trade.

    The rising deficit in the month of the Brexit referendum was driven mainly by the United Kingdom's worsening performance in the trade in goods, where the deficit rose 0.9 billion pounds and reached 12.4 billion.

    Most of the United Kingdom's deficit in the trade in goods comes from trade with the European Union. In June, however, most of the rise came from non-EU trade, which went from 3.6 billion pounds to 4.2 billion. The trade deficit with Europe rose 0.3 billion pounds to 8.3 billion between May and June, according to ONS figures.

    The United Kingdom's balance of trade began to deteriorate in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it started a steady decline from a slight surplus to a growing deficit. Record lows were hit in the 2000s, with the largest deficit of some 6 billion recorded in late 2013.

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