Manufacturing output in the UK increased 0.8% in September, the biggest monthly jump in over a year and a significant improvement from a summer downturn, according to official figures released by the ONS.
However, output was still 0.6% lower compared to the same month in 2014.
Trade in goods and services was also better in September. The trade down dropped significantly compared to the previous two months.
The UK’s trade deficit fell to £1.4 billion from £2.9 billion in August and £4.3 billion in July.
Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said it was “good news for the economy, with manufacturing output picking up more than anticipated in September and the trade deficit narrowing more than expected helped by an increase in exports”.
Total production including oil production, gas, electricity and other utilities, expanded grew 0.2 percent in the third quarter, shy of estimates of 0.3%, while manufacturing output dropped 0.4%.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, said: “While manufacturing contracted in the last quarter, there are signs that some parts of industry at least were mounting a comeback after a summer lull.”
She added, though, that there were risks from the economic slowdown happening elsewhere around the world: “Another disappointing set of trade figures for manufacturing show that these effects are already being felt, with a significant fall in goods exports to China over the past three months.”
According to the Financial Times, Ruth Miller of Capital Economics said:
“The sector may now have passed the worst, but it is still early days and we will need to see some more upbeat data before a renaissance in UK manufacturing can be declared.”