Manufacturing Increase 
According to data produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this week, UK manufacturing output increased more than expected in September.

It is the first rise in output in four months and is 0.2 per cent up on August, whereas analysts had expected a rise of only 0.1 per cent. However, the wider measure of industrial output, including oil and gas extraction, remained unchanged in September. The overall figure is 2 per cent up on last year.

The report said that eight of 13 manufacturing sub-sectors showed improvement, with the largest gains being in transportation equipment industries, where the index rose 6.1 per cent.

There were also rises in basic metals and metal products and machinery and equipment. The biggest falls were recorded in the food, drink and tobacco, computer, electronic and optical equipment and chemical and chemical products sectors.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) were pleased with the data and David Kern, their chief economist said: “Seeing the sector remain in positive territory despite difficulties in the eurozone and tough austerity measures in the UK is reassuring”

However, he added the caveat that, “although pessimism about the health of manufacturing is unnecessary, the sector does face difficult challenges and we must reinforce the modest recovery that we are seeing."

And other economists went further with their concerns, as the weak rise in manufacturing, which makes up 10 per cent of the economy, underlined the economy’s continued struggle for growth.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at data company Markit, is concerned that the picture may continue to deteriorate further and said of the figures: “This is a disappointing rate of growth for a sector that was hoped to lead the UK's economic recovery, and growth looks set to weaken further in the final quarter of the year.”

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