More positive signs on the UK recovery emerged today after figures showed manufacturers enjoyed their best quarter of growth since 1999.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said factory output rose by 0.5% on the previous month in March, while the figure for the first quarter of 2014 was 1.4% stronger than the previous three months - the best result in 15 years.

The agency also said the UK's trade deficit narrowed from £1.7 billion to £1.3 billion in March, driven by a sharp increase in the value of exports.

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