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UK data disappoints across the board

British factory output unexpectedly dropped in April at the fastest pace since 2012, due to weaker demand at home and abroad, raising concern that the economy’s weakness in early 2018 is persisting.

The official data published today also showed the biggest trade deficit for goods since September 2016 after big falls in exports of aircraft, pharmaceuticals, and machinery.

The figures do little to support the view of Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, who last week said data so far had suggested the economy’s weak start to 2018 would prove temporary.

The Bank of England said in May that it did not intend to raise interest rates until it saw proof that the economy was on a firmer footing.

Manufacturing output dropped by 1.4 percent month-on-month in April after a 0.1 percent decline in March — a bigger drop than any economist had forecast in a poll that pointed to growth of 0.3 percent.

That marked the biggest fall since October 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The broader measure of industrial output fell 0.8 percent on the month but was up 1.8 percent on the year — again weaker than all forecasts.

Every bit of data released this morning was disappointing and worse than all expectations, the pound has already fallen on the back of this and could continue to drop off.

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