BRITAIN’S trade deficit narrowed in May to £2.2bn from £3bn the previous month, according to official data published yesterday.<br /><br />Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the UK’s deficit on trade in goods in May was an estimated £6.3bn, while trade in services remained at £4.1bn.<br /><br />In Germany, exports recovered slightly in May, increasing by 0.3 per cent on the previous month, while imports decreased by 2.1 per cent. Consequently, the trade surplus of one of the world’s leading exporters widened to €9.6bn from €9.4bn.<br /><br />ING’s Carsten Brzeski, said: “All hard, real economic data was up in May – retail sales, industrial production, new orders and now exports. It is far too early to declare the return of Germany’s growth engine but one thing is for sure: there is life in the old dog yet.”<br /><br />A recovery in German trade adds weight to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) more positive the economic outlook yesterday. In its monthly report, the ECB said it still expects positive quarterly growth rates by mid-2010.<br /><br />But it now expects current low or negative inflation rates to be short-lived with price stabilisation in the medium-term. It had previously forecast prices to remain dampened due to sluggish demand.