UK industrial output fell unexpectedly in August, partly due to oil field shutdowns.

However, there were some limited signs that the pound's fall since June's Brexit vote had boosted factory exports. 

Britain's trade deficit also widened more than expected, jumping to £12.1 billion in August from £9.5 billion in July, smaller than first estimated, the Office for National Statistics said. 

UK industrial output fell 0.4% month-on-month in August after a 0.1% increase in July, the Office for National Statistics said. 

Economists polled by Reuters had expected it to edge up 0.1%. 

The figures are likely to temper some of the optimism about how the UK economy has fared since it voted to leave the European Union, although the Bank of England is likely to look through volatile monthly data when it decides whether to cut interest rates next month.

Today's figures show that output in manufacturing rose 0.2% after a 0.9% fall in July. Economists polled by Reuters had expected manufacturing output to increase 0.5% in July. 

"Manufacturing output was up slightly in August with more cars built, with limited evidence suggesting the lower pound boosted exports," the ONS said. 

Nevertheless, this was offset by a fall in oil and gas production, with field shutdowns contributing to the decline, she added. 

The pound's weakness has also pushed up prices paid by factories for imported materials and energy are also on the rise - something that will squeeze profit margins unless firms raise prices and boost inflation. 

Looking at the three months to August as a whole, industrial output was 1.4% higher than at the same point a year ago, slowing from a 1.6% rate of growth seen in July. 

A closely watched survey by financial data company Markit suggested British manufacturing staged one of its sharpest rebounds on record in August, and grew at a much faster pace than expected in September. 

The strength of this week's Markit survey further dampened expectations that the Bank of England will again cut interest rates to a new record low before the end of the year. 

Separate figures from the ONS showed Britain's goods trade deficit with European Union countries hit a record high £8.356 billion in August, up more than £1 billion from July.