LONDON (Reuters) - LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Britain's goods trade deficit narrowed slightly in March despite a rise in the deficit on trade in oil and other fuels to more normal levels, official data showed on Friday.
JOHN BEVAN, BARCLAYS:
"The reduction in the trade deficit is encouraging news, and should give UK exporters a spring in their step. We are seeing a general degree of positivity amongst exporters and signs of activity borne out of recently improved manufacturing data.
"Whilst this is a welcomed end to an otherwise challenging first quarter, there are still a number of challenges to contend with casting a shadow on future performance. Generally exporters will struggle to break away from the growth rate of the economies they serve and this is what we continue to experience within the Euro zone. It's those which export to faster growing economies that will of course benefit from that growth."
PHILIP SHAW, INVESTEC:
"No big surprises here. The trade deficit narrowed in March to a level close to market expectations, but the figures remain well short of implying any sort of rebalancing in the economy."