The value of UK exports increased by 3.5 percent between February 2013 and March 2013. The value of imports increased by 2.6 percent over the same period. Monthly figures tend to be volatile. Although exports in March were the highest since July 2012 the broad pattern remains flat, as has been the case since Autumn 2011.
The widening of the deficit with the EU in the first quarter came mainly from trade with Germany and the Netherlands. The deficit on trade with Italy reduced slightly while the UK’s surplus in trade in goods with Ireland rose with an increase in the level of exports. Outside the EU, the UK’s surplus in trade with the US improved by around £1.1 billion in the first quarter, largely due to a recovery in exports.