UK ECONOMY: Manufacturing and exports are diving

LONDON — The UK’s trade gap widened and manufacturing output fell in the three months to May, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.

The UK trade deficit with the rest of the world increased from £6.9 billion to £8.9 billion from the previous three months, the ONS said.

This “reflects a higher rise in imports than the rise in exports of goods, in particular transport equipment (cars, aircraft and ships), oil and electrical machinery from non-EU countries; a decrease in exports of services also contributed,” the ONS said.

The UK’s construction output suffered its largest three-month fall since September 2012, dropping 1.2% in the quarter ending May 2017, “driven by falls in both repair and maintenance, and all new work.”

Meanwhile, the UK’s index of production, which measures manufacturing and energy output, fell 1.2% in the three-month period.

“The largest contribution to the fall in manufacturing came from the highly volatile pharmaceutical industry along with a range of other industries while the fall in energy supply was due largely to warmer temperatures,” the ONS said.

Here’s the chart:

And here’s the trade balance:

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