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British trade deficit narrows more than estimated

Staff writer |
The UK trade deficit on goods and services narrowed more than expected in March as exports rose, official data showed.

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The Office for National Statistics said the deficit came to £3.8bn in March, down from £4.3bn the previous month, beating analysts' estimates of £4.2bn.

The narrowing of the deficit was supported by a £0.4bn increase in exports to £23.7bn, which mainly included unspecified goods, machinery and transport equipment.

However, in the first quarter the total trade deficit for goods and services widened by £1.1bn to £13.3bn compared to the fourth quarter.

The trade in goods deficit widened by £1.4bn to £34.7bn between the first and fourth quarters, reflecting a £1.9bn rise in imports of goods to £104.6bn.

The trade in goods deficit with the EU also expanded by £0.7bn to £23.9bn- the widest on record - as a 1.6% increase in exports was offset by a 2.3% jump in imports.

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