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UK industrial production ended its longest run of growth since 1994 during October as unseasonably warm weather led to a fall in the output of the energy sector.
Industrial output, which accounts for around 14 per cent of the UK’s national income, remained at the same level as the previous month. Economists expected output to contract 0.1 per cent compared to the previous month, according to a Reuters survey conducted before the data was published.
The stagnation ends six consecutive month-on-month increases in industrial production, the longest period of expansion in the sector in more than 20 years. During September industrial production increased by 0.7 per cent compared to the previous month.
While electricity and gas production dropped by 3.3 per cent compared to the previous month, manufacturing output — accounting for 10 per cent of national income — grew by 0.1 per cent as car production recovered, transport equipment output increased by 2.8 per cent compared to the previous month while pharmaceutical production rose by 2.7 per cent.
Manufacturing output was helped by a big increase in car exports. Compared to October 2016 export turnover was 20.7 per cent higher and the value of car exports reached a new record of £4bn, the Office for National Statistics said.
Office for National Statistics senior statistician Kate Davies said:
While manufacturing was relatively subdued overall in October 2017 despite record production of cars destined for export, the longer-term picture is one of strong growth.