The UK’s trade deficit has fallen for the first time this year, as quantitative easing measures help to spur on trade.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that seasonally-adjusted deficit on UK trade in goods and services has fallen to £1.9bn (US$3bn) in August, compared to £2.3bn in July.

The deficit on trade in goods was £7.8bn, compared with £8.2bn in July, while the surplus on trade in services was estimated at £5.9bn and remains unchanged compared with the previous month.

Import and export figures were also boosted with the volume of seasonally-adjusted exports increasing by 1.3%, and imports increasing by 0.3%, compared to July.

In terms of price changes, August export prices fell by 1.5% and import prices fell by 0.5%, compared with the previous month.

However, importers should be prepared for testing times ahead as the cost of raw materials is expected to increase.

“The latest quantitative easing measures should help to spur on UK trade by adding downward pressure on the pound,” comments Tan Kah Chye, head of trade and working capital at Barclays. “While this is good news for UK exporters, importers will be feeling the brunt of an increase in the cost of raw materials and finished goods.”

He continues: “Despite the beneficial offset of a cooling in commodities prices, these factors will still feed into input costs adding to inflation. Given the global turmoil facing both exporters and importers today, it is hard to see major growth in UK trade flows in the short term at least.”

Meanwhile, within the EU, the deficit narrowed by £600mn to £2.9bn in August, compared to £3.5bn in July.

EU exports rose by £400mn (2.8%) to £14.0bn, although imports fell by £200mn (1.3%) to £16.9bn.