Once again the UK’s trade deficit has increased, this time due a lack of confidence in investor spending.

The Office for National Statistics reports that the seasonally adjusted deficit on trade in goods and services rose to £3.9bn in September, compared with £2.7bn in August, while the deficit on trade in goods was £9.8bn, compared with £8.6bn in August.

Tan Kah Chye, head of trade and working capital, at Barclays says: “Fundamentally, business investment across all sectors is one of the greatest catalysts for growth, but boards are finding it very easy to say no in the current climate and are deliberately sitting on cash. Until there is much greater corporate activity in M&A and capital investment on both sides of the Atlantic, growth will remain sluggish.”

However, the report shows that the total exports of goods rose by less than £ 0.1bn (0.2%) to £24.5bn, and the total imports of goods rose by £1.2bn (3.8%) to £34.3bn.

The rise is thought to be driven by higher exports of oil, which was up £0.3bn, followed by higher exports of cars (up £0.3bn), offset by lower exports of chemicals, intermediate goods and consumer goods other than cars, which were all down £0.1bn.

The overall imports of goods also rose due to an increase of chemicals, oil and silver imports, the report suggests.