ECONOMISTS’ VIEWS: IS THE TRADE DATA BAD NEWS FOR THE RECOVERY?

 
Julian Harris
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ANDREW GOODWIN | ERNST AND YOUNG ITEM CLUB
You have to bear in mind the extent of disruption caused by snow, with airports shut for several days and problems on many roads, so it would be unwise to draw any conclusions from the monthly figures. The figures for the fourth quarter as a whole suggest only a modest drag on GDP from net trade.”

DAVID KERN | BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
These figures are disappointing and worse than expected. While we shouldn’t give too much weight to one month’s numbers, it is disappointing to see that exports fell during the month, while imports rose. Although exports grew at various points over the year, the pace of recovery is not strong enough.

SCOTT CORFE | CEBR
Clearly, the latest release provides fairly bleak reading and many will be disappointed that the UK’s trade balance has failed to improve despite an ongoing period of weak sterling, low interest rates and robust growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had generally been expecting an improvement.