UK trade deficit narrows in March

The UK’s trade deficit narrowed in March, driven in particular by stronger exports to the US, China and Russia.UK trade deficit narrows in MarchThe seasonally adjusted trade deficit in goods and services was £2.7bn, against £2.9bn the month before, the Office for National Statistics said.

Car exports in March were worth £200 million more than the previous month.

The deficit on seasonally adjusted trade in goods was £8.6 billion in March, unchanged on February.

The ONS said that the surplus on trade in services was estimated at £5.8 billion in March- up compared with a £5.6 billion surplus the month before.

The deficit in trade in goods with EU countries widened by £700 million to £4.5 billion in March, compared with the deficit of £3.7 billion in February. Exports were virtually unchanged at £13.2 billion, and imports rose by £800 million, or 4.4%, to £17.6 billion.

Trade in goods with non-EU countries reached record levels, with both imports and exports at an all-time high in March.

Imports to the UK of goods from non-EU states rose by £700 million, or 4%, to £17.3 billion, while exports rose by £1.4 billion, up 12.1%.

That left the overall deficit on goods trade narrowing by £800 million to £4.1 billion, compared with February’s deficit of £4.9 billion.

The value of chemicals exported to non-EU countries rose by £200 million in March. The shipbuilding sector also saw the value of exports rise by the same amount.

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