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Economic data this week

UK Trade in Goods by Industry, 2013:  Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that exports of advanced engineering products were +6.2% higher than in 2012 at £128.6 billion, while imports were worth £161.0 billion, also +6.2% higher than in the previous year.  Focusing on exports, the largest sectors are Automotive products, the Machinery industry and Aerospace;  exports values for these sectors in 2013 were £34.0 billion (+11% up on 2012), 28.2 billion (+1%) and £24.7 billion (+10%) respectively.  The only industries to have a trade surplus are Aerospace (+£5.5 billion in 2013) and Machinery (+£1.2 billion).

You can download the ONS Statistics Bulletin, which includes the data tables for trade by industry across the whole economy, from their web-site at or request it from MTA.

UK Oil & Gas Sector Report:  Oil & Gas UK, the trade association for the extraction sector has published its annual Activity Survey - you can download this from their web-site at

It shows that the sector invested a record £14.4 billion in 2013, with 25% of this spent on just 4 fields;  this represents an increase of +26% compared to 2012.  Overall, turnover of the sector increased by +21% to £25.8 billion, although total production fell by -8% to 1.43 million boepd (barrels of oil equivalent per day).

Investment in 2014 is expected to fall back to £13 billion, but this would still be higher than the 2012 figure which was, at the time, a record high level.  Oil & Gas UK then expect it to be above £10 billion in 2015.

Bank of England Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions:  Each month, as part of the input to the meetings of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, the local agents meet with a wide range of companies in their area to get views on the state of business and a summary report is then published.  The March 2014 report shows that manufacturing output had continued to grow steadily and growth in exports for the sector had increased;  sales to Europe were broadly flat, with some growth in the US and emerging markets generally positive..

Investment intentions in manufacturing picked up a little with an increasing number of contacts looking to expand capacity;  in this context, capacity utilisation remained close to normal, but with a small, but growing, number of contacts for whom this was becoming a constraint as demand improves.

You can get the summary report from the Bank of England’s web-site at or on request from MTA.