Figures are on the up…
At the end of 2016 the manufacturing sector grew faster than expected due to the UK economy defying a downturn after the Brexit vote.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said output from the sector grew by 2.1 per cent in December, it was also up 1.2 per cent in the October to December quarter.
However, the ONS did state that December’s figure was boosted due to output from the “volatile” pharmaceuticals sector.
As well as this separate data from the ONS showed the UK’s trade deficit is narrowing.
The deficit in goods and services fell to £3.3bn from £3.6bn in November, this improvement was due to a £1.1bn in exports of goods to non-EU countries.
During the October to December quarter the deficit narrowed by £5.6bn to £8.6bn.
Kate Davies, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “While both exports and imports grew over 2016, there remains little evidence that the weaker pound has had an effect on the trade balance,”