The U.K. manufacturing industry posted its sixth monthly expansion in a row for the first time on record in October, new figures showed, a sign that British producers are benefiting from the pound's weakness and strong global demand.
The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics on Friday, suggest the U.K. economy entered the final quarter of the year on a decent footing. Manufacturing accounts for around a fifth of Britain's largely services-driven economy.
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Factory output grew by 0.1% compared with September, and by 3.9% compared with October 2016, both slightly above the expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who predicted no monthly growth and an annual expansion of 3.8%.
Car production was a particularly bright spot within the industry, the data showed, with a record number of vehicles destined for export rolling off factory lines.
Overall, Britain's industrial output was flat on the month, in line with expectations, though the annual growth of 3.6% was slightly above the consensus.
Separately, the ONS also said the U.K. goods trade deficit with the rest of the world widened slightly in October, to GBP10.8 billion, from the revised September figure of GBP10.5 billion.
Write to Wiktor Szary at Wiktor.Szary@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 08, 2017 04:51 ET (09:51 GMT)