Industrial output falls despite weaker pound

UK industrial production fell in August by 0.4 per cent, partly due to a drop in oil and gas production.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) ‘UK index of production: Aug 2016’ measures the volume of production at base year prices for the manufacturing, mining and quarrying, energy supply, and water and waste management industries. The report shows production decreased month-on-month in August 2016, with a fall in mining and quarrying partially offset by a rise in manufacturing.

In August 2016, manufacturing* grew by 0.2 per cent compared with July 2016, with output now at roughly the same level as the average in 2015.

Separate figures from the ONS showed that the UK's deficit on trade in goods and services widened in August at £4.7 billion (£2.2 billion in July). The deficit on trade in goods widened by £2.6 billion to £12.1 billion. This comes despite hopes that the weaker pound, which fell to new 31-year low on Friday amidst fears of the consequences of a "hard" exit by Britain from the EU, would increase demand for UK goods.

Commenting on ONS statistician Kate Davies said.”Manufacturing output was up slightly in August with more cars built**, with limited evidence suggesting the lower pound boosted exports.”

"Nevertheless, this was offset by a fall in oil and gas production, with some field shutdowns contributing to the fall, meaning UK production as a whole was down. While exports continued to grow in August, the UK's trade deficit widened, as imports grew at a faster rate."

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*UK Manufacturing PMI reaches highest level since 2014

**UK car sales hit new record