Fears that Britain's recovery is losing steam crept up today after new figures showed manufacturing grew at its slowest pace in a year in July.
The latest snapshot of the sector by Markit/CIPS dipped to 55.4, down from 57.2 in June. This was the most modest monthly pace of expansion recorded since July 2013. It was also below economists’ forecasts of a 57.2 reading.
The pound gave up a third of a cent against the dollar in the wake of the data’s release, dropping to $1.6838. Rob Dobson of Markit said the slowing of manufacturing growth could be a result of fears of rising interest rates or the impact of the Ukraine crisis.
Meanwhile, growth in new export orders fell to a four-month low. And there was further bad news for UK exporters last night as India blocked the first major global trade reform pact in two decades.
According to some estimates the deal would have added $1 trillion (£594 billion) to the world economy.