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Economy in Brief

UK IP Slips in April
by Robert Brusca  June 11, 2013

Industrial output slipped in April in the UK even as it showed signs of getting some traction. Consumer durables output dropped and intermediate goods output fell by a relatively sharp 2.1% in April. These drops were partly offset by a rise of 1.7% for consumer nondurables and a gain of 0.3% for capital goods. Motor vehicle output fell by a sharp 3.9% in April.

However three-month, six-month and 12-month growth rates all improved in April compared to March. Over three-months output is expanding at a 6% annualized rate, over three months, at a 1.2% pace, and over six months and is still shrinking by 0.5% over 12-months.

Capital goods output is holding up better than for the other sectors and it has been so for some time. Capital goods output has dropped Yr/Yr in only one month compared to durable consumer goods and nondurable goods where output is still struggling to make year-over-year gains.

The UK economy is still struggling to kick into a solid growth regime. Auto sales have been consistent even in the downturn despite this month's drop in output. The UK economy is growing but is still struggling with its major market right next door, the euro-Zone also struggling to keep growth. The industrial production trend is showing improvement but it is still well short of solid. Events in the Zone continue to unfold and not without separate positive and negative overtones that will continue to wash over the UK economy.

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