ON 9 May the Office for National Statistics released trade figures for March,also the first quarterly trade statistics for the year.
The data once again shows a mixed picture of export performance, with some areas of improvement against a continued decline in the value of goods exports.
Total goods exports rose a healthy 4.9pc in March, but this improvement was not enough to offset weakness earlier in the quarter, resulting in overall goods exports falling in Q1 2014. Therefore, these figures imply that net exports will hold back growth in the first quarter of the year.
The goods trade deficit fell in the first quarter of this year, driven by an improvement in the trade balance with EU countries. However, as with last month, this quarterly improvement was once again driven by goods imports falling at a faster pace than goods exports.