Hopes for Britain’s economic rebalancing took another knock today as industrial production in June undershot market expectations.
Manufacturing grew by just 0.3 per cent in the month, with the wider measure of industrial production growing at the same rate. Analysts had expected a strong bounce back after May’s 1.3% manufacturing contraction.
The disappointing news sent the pound down against the dollar by around a fifth of a cent to $1.6837.
Analysts said the picture was unclear because the weak official numbers were in marked contrast to the robust picture painted by surveys.
“It shows that the disconnect between what official data is telling us and what private surveys show … remains as wide as ever,” said James Knightley of ING.
The Office for National Statistics confirmed that manufacturing output increased by 0.2 per cent over the first quarter of the year, unchanged from its initial estimate last month.
There was, however, better news on car sales as the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders reported today that there were 172,907 new registrations in July, a rise of 6.6 per cent on the same month in 2013, the 29th consecutive month of growth, according to the SMMT.