Britain's trade lurched sharply into wider deficit in July, in a way that suggests some erratic factors came into play. The overall trade deficit widened from £1.3 billion in June to £3.1 billion in July, including a £9.9 billion deficit in goods.
According to the ONS: "In July 2013, exports of goods to countries outside of the European Union (EU) decreased by £2.2 billion to £11.8 billion. Exports to countries within the EU increased by £0.2 billion over the same period to £13.0 billion."
This suggests the slowdown in emerging economies has hit exports just as exports to the EU are beginning to pick up. A drop in aircraft exports, often erratic, contributed to a 7.6% drop in exports on the month. More here.
Industrial production was also a touch disappointing, with overall production flat in July and manufacturing output up by a modest 0.2%. However, both showed 0.9% rises in the latest three months compared with the previous three months. Industrial production was pegged back in July by weak North Sea oil output and a weather-related 2.2% drop in electricity and gas output. More here.