British Industry
British manufacturing surged to its highest level since April 2014 Reuters

Manufacturing output rose at the fastest monthly pace since April 2014 in September, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which said it surged by 0.8%. That followed a 0.4% increase in August.

The ONS said Britain's goods trade deficit narrowed by more than was expected. Attributing the narrowing to trade in goods, it said the deficit fell from £10.8bn in August to £9.4bn the following month.

However, in quarter three – between July and September – the ONS said that the UK's deficit on trade in goods and services was estimated to have been £8.5bn, widening by £5.1bn when compared with quarter two (April to June) 2015.

With a strengthening of the pound and less demand from eurozone countries, manufacturers have struggled over recent years. But the ONS said exports climbed by £600m, which it attributed to an increase in chemicals.

Over the same month of September, imports fell by £900m to £33bn. "This was attributed to a decrease in unspecified goods of £1bn," it said.

Despite the improvement, the ONS said trade would likely make a negative contribution to British economic output in the third quarter. Industrial production figures would have a negligible impact to its estimate for economic growth in the July to September period, which slowed to 0.5% on the quarter, it said.

After rising 0.9% in August industrial output fell 0.2% on the month, while on-the-year output rose by 1.1%, down from a 1.8% annual increase in the previous month.