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Exports to EU return to pre-Brexit levels

Goods exported to the EU increased by 8.6% in March to £12.7bn

The UK’s exports to the European Union are close to making a recovery after they dropped by 40% at the begging of the year, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Goods exported to the trading bloc increased by 8.6% to £12.7bn in March, it was revealed on Wednesday.

It is £1bn shy of the level recorded in December, prior to the UK’s exit from the EU, which resulted in exports plummeting by over 43% the following month.

The figures hint at a recovery in trade levels both in Britain and on the continent following the upheaval caused by the vote. It also has taken some time for countries to adapt to the new rules of trading.

Ruth Gregory, economist at Capital Economics, told The Times: “March’s trade figures showed that the UK’s goods export values to the EU have now almost reversed January’s 43.2 per cent plunge after the Brexit transition period ended. However, imports from the EU have continued to lag behind.”

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The FTSE 100 received an early helping hand thanks to a better than forecast Q1 GDP reading, while European markets, including the DAX and the CAC have both made gains.

According to a forecast released on Wednesday by the EU’s executive commission, the trading bloc is expected to grow by 4.2% this year, an increase of 0.5% from a forecast made in February.

“Recovery is no longer a mirage. It is under way,” said EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni “After a weak start to the year, we project strong growth in both 2021 and 2022.”

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