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LONDON–The U.K.’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened in May, highlighting the challenge facing policy makers in boosting trade following the vote to leave the European Union.
The Office for National Statistics said Friday the U.K.’s deficit in goods trade with the rest of the world widened in May to 9.9 billion pounds ($12.82 billion), from GBP9.4 billion in April. Exports fell 8.2% on the month, outpacing a 4.7% decline in imports.
Including services, the U.K.’s trade deficit widened to GBP2.3 billion from GBP2 billion, the ONS said.
Greater trade with fast-growing parts of the world is a key goal of British policy makers in the wake of the vote to take the country out of the EU in a referendum June 23.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid will hold preliminary trade talks with India on Friday, marking the country’s first steps toward securing new trade deals overseas.
The get-together in Delhi is the first in a series of visits to potential trade partners in the coming months. Mr. Javid will also be visiting the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea, his department said.
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