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UK trade deficit narrows more than expected in April

Staff writer |
Britain's trade deficit narrowed more than expected in April as exports on goods surged, official data showed.

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The Office for National Statistics said the total trade deficit fell to £3.29bn in April from a downwardly revised £3.53bn in March. It marked the lowest deficit since September and was better than the £3.55bn predicted by economists.

The deficit in goods alone dropped to £10.52bn in April from £10.64bn a month ago. Economists had forecast a deficit of £11.0bn, broadly in line with the initial March estimate.

Goods export volumes jumped by £2.2bn in April on the month to £26.1bn, the biggest rise since records started in 1998. Imports increased £2bn to £36.6bn.

In the three months to April, the total trade deficit for goods and services narrowed by £2.1bn to £11.3bn. The deficit on trade in goods narrowed by £1.5bn to £32.6bn as exports gained by £4.4bn and imports rose by £2.9bn.

ONS said the increase in exports was driven by increases in chemicals, oil, machinery and aircraft.

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