Factory output rose 0.4 percent from October, the Office for National Statistics said on Jan. 10, while overall industrial production also increased 0.4 percent, with a drop in temperatures boosting demand for energy. That means the sector, which accounts for 14 percent of the economy, almost certainly contributed to growth in the final quarter of 2017.
Stronger manufacturing was one of the factors cited by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research as it upped its fourth-quarter growth estimate to 0.6 percent in a report on Jan. 10. That would be the fastest rate in a year.
Factories are enjoying the longest run of uninterrupted growth since 1997 thanks to a broad-based global upswing, particularly in the euro area, which buys almost half of British exports.
Ten out of 13 manufacturing sectors posted increases in November. A weak spot was car production, which plunged by 7.1 percent — the biggest decline since 2014 — after strong foreign demand in recent months.
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