December 10 2013.

- Manufacturing output in October 2013 up 0.4% on the month, up 2.7% on the year

- Total production figures: up 0.4% on the month, up 3.2% on the year

- The UK deficit on trade in goods and services was 2.6% in October, unchanged from September; but the September deficit was revised down significantly from £3.3bn to £2.6bn

- The trade deficit in goods with the EU reached a record of £6.5bn in October

Commenting on the trade and index of production figures for October 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “These figures show that the economy has continued growing into the fourth quarter of the year, which will boost business confidence and encourage companies to invest. But they also highlight the economic challenges that still remain. Though manufacturing is recovering, output is almost 9% below its pre-crisis level. The share of manufacturing in the economy has fallen considerably in recent years but the sector has maintained its skills base during the downturn and there is scope for improvement in the future.

“We still have a large trade deficit and not enough progress is being made to rebalance the economy towards net exports. Despite this, it is encouraging that the September deficit was not as large as originally estimated. Problems in the eurozone remain a major challenge for our exporters, especially given the record deficit with the EU in October. This shows there is a need to diversify our trade efforts towards other areas of the economy. British businesses want to drive the recovery, but the government must do more to help by introducing policies that will boost growth and by ensuring there is enough support for firms looking to export.”