The pound climbed this morning after official data showed production in the UK’s industrial and manufacturing industries smashed expectations in August.
Total production output in the industrial sector was 1.6 per cent higher in August than a year before, against expectations of a 0.8 per cent increase, while output in manufacturing, which makes up the largest portion of the industrial production figure, was 2.8 per cent higher, higher than forecasts of a 1.9 per cent increase.
That pushed up the Office for National Statistics’ index of production up 0.9 per cent, offset by a six per cent year-on-year contraction in the mining and quarrying industry.
That pushed sterling up 0.3 per cent against the dollar to $1.3184, while it edged 0.01 per cent higher against the euro, to €1.1193.
On a month-on-month basis, mining and quarrying was the only one of the index’s four main sectors to show a contraction: while production in the sector fell two per cent; output in manufacturing, energy production and water and waste management all rose 0.4 per cent.
Significant month of growth
The figures follow encouraging data from last month, which showed the UK’s manufacturing industry recorded its first “significant” month of growth this year in July, expanding 0.5 per cent on the month before, pushed up by a sharp 13.7 per cent rise in car production.
However, figures published by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) last week suggested the number of new cars registered in the key month of September, when the new licence plate is introduced, declined for the sixth month in a row.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said the decline will cause “considerable concern”.