UK trade deficit narrows in February

| April 13, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed the UK’s trade gap narrowed in February, due to a recovery in exports.

According to the ONS, goods exports surged 9.5% in February, following on from a wintry January which affected trade.

The ONS said the February deficit on goods trade narrowed to £6.17 billion, down from £7.52 billion in January and the smallest goods deficit since in almost four years.

Meanwhile, the rise in goods exports, which was the largest monthly increase since January 2003, was due to a surge in overseas chemical sales.

Goods imports were barely changed from January’s figure.

Following the news, sterling rose against the dollar from $1.5378 to $1.5394.

Commenting on today’s figures, Iain MacDonald, head of trade product at Barclays Corporate, said: “The narrowing trade gap reported in today’s figures will be seen as a welcome marker of improvement and another signal of potential growth for the UK economy throughout 2010.”

The news will certainly be a welcome boost to the Labour Government, currently in the midst of its election campaign.

Furthermore, the figures will raise hopes that GDP has grown in the first quarter of 2010, thereby quelling fears of a “double-dip“ recession.

First quarter GDP figures are due out next Friday, 23 April.

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