Rather mixed news for the UK economy last week: UK car sales soared last year to their highest level since 2007, fuelled by growing consumer confidence, cheap finance deals and payouts for PPI mis-selling. However, while we may be buying plenty of new motors, we aren't exporting as much stuff as we'd hoped, as was shown by news that Britain's trade deficit remains stubbornly high. The number of new cars sold jumped by nearly 11% to 2.26m in 2013, the highest total since the onset of the financial crisis, according to the figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was equivalent to 600 more cars sold a day in 2013 compared with 2012, and bucked the trend across much of Europe , where sales have been falling. Meanwhile, the UK's trade in goods deficit with the rest of the world narrowed slightly - to pounds 9.4bn in November from pounds 9.7bn in October, according to the Office for National Statistics . However over the three months to November, considered a better indication of the underlying picture than a single month's data, exports fell by 3% to pounds 75.2bn, while imports fell by just 0.6% to pounds 104.4bn, widening the deficit to pounds 29.2bn from pounds 27.4bn. Export-led recovery, anyone?
Most Popular Stories
- Crimean Referendum Violates International Law: Obama
- Florida Insurers Reach Out to Hispanics
- Where Are the World's Most Expensive Cities?
- BP Tripled CEO's Pay Despite Deepwater Horizon
- House OKs $1 Billion for Ukraine
- EU Breaks Off Talks With Russia
- Putin Gets Thumbs-up From Assad
- 2 Million Long-term Jobless Have No Benefits
- Nakamoto 'No Longer Involved' in Bitcoin
- Cuba Accepts Invite for Talks With EU