According to figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics, in October UK manufacturing production dropped more significantly than expected.
The data showed that factory output declined by the largest margin for four months in September. Despite economists forecasting a decrease of just 0.2 per cent the figure actually fell by 1.3 per cent.
Economists participating in a Bloomberg Survey also predicted that total industrial output figures would break free from the last two months of declines and increase by 0.8 per cent, but lessened oil and gas extraction resulted in an unexpected fall of 0.8 per cent.
There are 13 categories of manufacturing and in October only 2 increased. One retained September’s levels and the other 10 categories recorded a drop.
The plunges in food and alcohol production were the most significant. Food production hit its lowest level in 18 months after slumping by 9.1 per cent in October while the amount of pints of beer sold was a staggering 117 million less than in October of the previous year.
Prior to the data release Howard Archer, an economist with London-based IHS Global Insight, commented: ‘Manufacturers still face a tough environment. Muted global growth, and Eurozone contraction in particular, is limiting overall foreign demand.’
A second report compiled by the ONS showed a 5.4 per cent rise in construction orders in the third quarter.
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