UK Balance of Payments Hits Record £32bn Deficit

31 March 2006

    LONDON - Britain suffered a record current account deficit last year, attributable to a combination of its highest-ever trade deficit, increased payments to the European Union and massive insurance payouts incurred by Hurricane Katrina in the USA.
    The Office for National Statistics reported a balance of payments shortfall of £32 billion ($55.54bn; €46.16bn) for the full year, with Q4's £11bn deficit equalling the record set in Q3, largely due to a sharp drop in the traditional surplus in investment income. The annual deficit was up from £24bn in 2004.