Industrial production jumps but fears remain over UK slowdown

Chris Papadopoullos
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INDUSTRIAL production in the UK rose by a healthy amount in September but indicators of overall economic conditions point to a recent slowdown in the economy.

Production – which includes manufacturing, mining and quarrying – rose by 0.6 per cent month-on-month in September, data released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday show.

Yet the Now-Casting index (NCI) released today by the eponymous firm fell to 125.3 for November from 128.4 in October – 100 marks long-term average growth.

The NCI uses a broad range of data to give an overall indication of the health of the economy. The index was positively impacted by yesterday’s manufacturing data release, but had been weighed down by the weak growth in services and construction reported in October.

“It reaffirms our view that trend growth in the UK, while still above its long-term average rate, is slowing,” said Jasper McMahon, chief executive at Now-Casting Economics.

The UK had the fasting growing economy of any G7 nation in the year to June, but official estimates show a slowdown in the third quarter. Manufacturing growth has also been sluggish after continuing economic troubles in the Eurozone.