European stock markets pushed higher on Tuesday as UK factory output fell at the fastest rate since September 2020 and public sector borrowing slowed in July
Stock gains were also driven by cyclical sectors, including construction and materials, precious metal miners and defence, while defensive, pharmaceutical, and personal care sector indexes were among the decliners.
UK manufacturers saw the sharpest fall in factory production since September 2020, according to the latest figures from the CBI.
The data showed that output volumes were at their worst, with declines driven lower by a range of sectors.
The CBI said 15 out of the 17 manufacturing sub-sectors suffered a drop in output, although the car industry and mechanical engineering were the worst performers, as well as paper, printing and media, and chemicals sub-sectors.
However, output volumes are expected to stabilise in the next three months.
Across the pond, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up marginally 0.04% by the time of the European close and the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) was 0.4% higher. The Dow Jones (^DJI) was just 0.3% down at the time of publish.
Earlier this morning, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that UK government borrowing came in below official forecasts in the first four months of the fiscal year.
The budget deficit between April and July was £56.6bn, some £11.3bn less than the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast in March.
The deficit in July alone came in at £4.3bn, below the £5bn forecast by economists. It was the fifth-highest July borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.
"As inflation slows, it’s vital that we don’t alter our course and continue to act responsibly with the public finances," chancellor Jeremy Hunt said. “Only by sticking to our plan will we halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt.”