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Weak month for UK manufacturing

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The UK manufacturing sector had a weak month in July, according to official figures.

Manufacturing output was down 0.5% compared with the same month in 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

But the overall index of production (IoP), which also includes mining and quarrying and utilities rose 0.8% over the same period.

The IoP accounts for about 15% of the UK economy.

It means that production is still 9.3% below its pre-downturn peak, achieved in the first quarter of 2008, while manufacturing is 5.2% below its peak.

Analysis: Robert Peston, economics editor

If the British economy was driven by manufacturing, we could well be in seriously dire economic straits, figures released today show.

So perhaps we should be profoundly grateful that the coalition government elected in 2010 failed so miserably in its ambition to rebalance the UK towards the makers and away from services.

The main drags on the manufacturing figures were basic metals and metal products, transport equipment and "other manufacturing and repair".

Trade in goods increased the deficit in the latest trade figures, which were also released on Wednesday.

The trade deficit shows how much more the country is importing than it is exporting.

The overall deficit in the trade in goods and services was estimated to be £3.4bn in July, up £2.6bn from June.

That widening was attributed to trade in goods, in which the deficit was £11.1bn, compared with £8.5bn in June.

Related Topics

  • UK economy
  • Economic growth