UK exports and factory growth rise
13 March 2017
Posted by: IOE&IT News
British factories enjoyed their strongest growth in nearly seven years over the November 2016-January 2017 period, rising 2.1 percent from the previous three months according to the latest government figures.
Although output did slip in January, this was outweighed by strong growth in the previous two months.
In another sign of an improvement in Britain's trade position, the trade deficit narrowed after an 8.7 percent increase in exports over the three months to January - the biggest increase in more a decade, the Office for National Statistics said.
Economists have said that the data suggest Britain's economy might be starting to reduce its reliance on consumers to drive growth. That would be welcomed by the government as households are turning more cautious as inflation rises following the Brexit vote.
Performance has been helped by the weaker pound and recovery in key European export markets.
However, the ONS warned that the improved export performance was driven by “erratic” goods such as oil and gold, which tend to distort the underlying picture.