The UK trade deficit narrowed slightly in March, adding to hopes that the economy could be beginning to strengthen.
Official figures yesterday showed the deficit on the trade in goods was £9.1bn in the month, offset by a £5.9bn surplus in services, leaving a final deficit of £3.1bn. This was down from £3.4bn in February.
The news helped to propel the FTSE 100 above 6,600. Martin Beck of Capital Economics described the figures as “reasonably good” but added that the eurozone’s ongoing recession would probably continue to cause problems for the UK. He said: “Export-led growth is likely to remain a distant prospect.”