Commenting on today’s Index of Production and Trade data, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Whilst we’ve seen an even weaker quarter for manufacturing than indicated in the earlier GDP estimate, with weakness in the transport sector the main culprit, the trade data was marginally more encouraging. Exports of manufactured goods are faring well as a result of strengthening European markets and the weak pound.
“Despite this, we are still sucking in imports at a similar pace, leaving the deficit largely unmoved. All in all, this still leaves us cautious about the growth outlook as there are still scant signs that the contribution of net trade is set to ramp up and offset challenged consumers in the quarters ahead.”