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News

Economic Data

23rd April 2013

The index of production data for February provided some welcome news for the UK economy with industrial output rising by 1.0%. Output increased in all production sectors for the first time since July 2012. Manufacturing output rose by 0.8% for the month, while output from mining and quarrying rose by 2.8% and by 1.3% from the energy sector.

However, the latest trade figures released on the same day revealed that the UK’s trade deficit increased significantly from £2.5bn in January to £3.6bn in February. The UK's weak trade position in the month was driven by a deficit of £9.4bn on goods, only partly offset by an estimated surplus of £5.8bn on services.

Statistics released by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) revealed world trade growth fell to 2.0% in 2012 (down from 5.2% in 2011). The deceleration of trade was attributed to slow growth in developed economies and uncertainty over the future of the euro. Deteriorating output and high unemployment in developed countries reduced imports and lowered export growth in both developed and developing economies.

Improved economic prospects for the US in 2013 should only ...