Commenting on the March trade figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, (BCC) said:

“These figures were much worse than expected, with exports recording a decline on a monthly and quarterly basis. Longer-term comparisons show exports rising considerably slower than imports.

“It is clear that the much-needed rebalancing of the economy towards export-led growth is not happening. With a competitive exchange rate, the UK’s international trading performance is still too weak.

“Businesses urgently need short-term trade finance support, so that our exporters can get their goods and services out to the global market as the recovery continues. We must remember that business exports will be at the centre of any meaningful UK recovery over the next few years.”