The UK’s trade deficit narrowed by £13bn to £4.6bn in the three months to August 2019 as the country imported fewer goods and services.
This was largely due to imports falling £8.8bn to £168.5bn, while exports increased £4.2bn to £163.9bn, the ONS said.
However, on an annualised basis the deficit widened by £18.6bn to £50.4bn.
Samuel Fuller, Director of Financial Markets Online said, “The sighs of relief from Downing Street could be heard as far away as the City.
“Against all expectations, the UK is on course to dodge a recessionary bullet. Barring a vertiginous plunge in September’s figures, Britain’s economy now looks set to post some growth in the third quarter.
“Once again Britain’s dominant services sector was the hero of the piece, with its brisk growth cancelling out the fall in manufacturing output and the stagnation of the construction sector.
“But encouraging though this achievement is, it doesn’t come close to answering the big question – is this merely delaying the inevitable?
“With the UK still rushing headlong towards a no-deal Brexit and the respected IFS think tank now warning that a chaotic exit would decimate the Government’s finances as well as hit the economy, today’s modest economic progress is very much the calm before the storm.
“As a result the Pound has proved largely unable to shrug off its malaise, and it continues to wallow – most notably against a Euro boosted by news that the ECB is developing a more hawkish streak that could surface after Mario Draghi’s departure at the end of October.”