Friday, May 09, 2014
Manufacturing grows, trade deficit narrows
Posted by David Smith at 11:30 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Manufacturing output rose by 0.5% in March, for a strong 1.4% increase in the first quarter, stronger than the overall increase in industrial production, which dipped by 0.1% in March but was up by 0.7% in the first quarter. Some of that was a weather effect, the mild March weather reducing gas and electricity output. More here.

There was also a narrowing of the trade deficit to 1.3 billion in March from 1.7 billion in February. Though the improvement is slow - and both exports and imports are depressed - the trade deficit is narrowing. More here. Goods exports picked up in March, but the service sector - running a surplus of 7.2 billion in the first quarter - is the star performer.

Finally, there was a 0.6% increase in construction output in the first quarter, slightly more than the ONS originally estimated. More here.

These numbers confirm the manufacturing recovery and that there is a degree of rebalancing occurring the economy, though much more of both is needed.