The expected collapse of Poundworld is now official.. But that's not the end of the bad economic news today. The run of closures and downsizing in the retail sector can in part be blamed on a failure of companies to keep up with the changes in how people shop. But how is the significant drop in UK industrial output of 0.8% in April, compared to March, announced today, to be explained? Even more worrying is that within this figure is a 1.4% drop in manufacturing output. Given that the weather in March caused a modest drop in manufacturing that month, output in April should have bounced back. It didn't. Output continued to fall. The recent drop in the value of the pound has failed to help UK manufacturers to produce more for export. Indeed, trade figures today show that the deficit in goods and services widened to £5.28bn in April from £3.22bn in March. The goods trade deficit widened to £14.04bn in April.
The pound experienced a sharp drop this morning when the figures were released. Let's hope the economy is not going the same way as Poundworld. But with Brexit impacting on investment and the government completely immersed in tearing the UK out of our single biggest market, don't expect any improvements soon.