UK manufacturing falls as trade deficit widens

City A.M. Reporter
British factory output dropped in August as the trade deficit widened, data showed today.

Manufacturing output fell 1.1 per cent in August, following a bounce of 3.1 per cent in July, the Office for National Statistics said this morning.

Meanwhile, Britain’s goods trade deficit widened to £9.8bn, as exports fell and oil imports rose. The total trade deficit rose to the second highest on record.

Victoria Clarke, economist at Investec, said: "Certainly it looks like the manufacturing sector is struggling and being affected by the very weak euro area economy and weak global backdrop.”

The International Monetary Fund this morning slashed Britain's growth forecast, predicting the economy will contract by 0.4 per cent this year.