UK CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT NARROWS TO $1.28 BILLION

UK CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT NARROWS TO $1.28 BILLION

The United Kingdom's seasonally adjusted current account deficit narrowed to $1.28 billion (UK750 million) in February, the Central Statistical Office said Monday.

Economists had forecast a current account deficit of around UK400 million and a merchandise trade deficit of UK850 million. The current account tally covers merchandise trade plus transactions involving insurance, shipbuilding and other services plus dividend and interest payments.The merchandise trade deficit was UK1.050 billion in February, down from January's revised UK1.158 billion originally reported as a deficit of UK1.094 billion. Merchandise exports rose to UK9.003 billion from a revised UK8.289 billion in January, originally reported as UK8.298 billion. Meanwhile, imports rose to UK10.053 billion from January's revised UK9.447 billion, originally reported as UK9.392 billion.

The projection for the non-merchandise surplus in February was UK300 million, compared with analysts' expectations that this figure could be as high as UK600 million, following the fourth-quarter 1991 non-merchandise trade surplus of UK1.916 billion. Estimates of invisibles are unavailable on a monthly basis and are instead projected on the basis of recent trends and limited information on European Community transfers. Revisions to these projections can be substantial.

The January current account deficit was revised to UK858 million from an originally reported deficit of UK794 million.

The UK's visible trade deficit excluding oil and erratic items was

UK1.122 billion in February compared with a revised UK1.345 billion in January, originally reported as UK1.275 billion.