British Manufacturing Output Flattens

Manufacturing has dropped on an annual basis for 18 months in a row.

British manufacturing output steadied in October from the previous month, but fell sharply on an annual basis, official data showed on Dec. 8.

Output was unchanged in October from September, but fell by 7.8% compared with October 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Manufacturing has dropped on an annual basis for 18 months in a row.

The ONS added that September output was revised to show a 1.5% monthly gain and a 9.8% slump over the year.

The ONS also revealed that a wider measure of industrial production, which includes mining, quarrying and energy, was flat in October from September, but was down 8.4% year-on-year.

Vicky Redwood at the Capital Economics consultancy said that the British economy should pull out of recession by the end of 2009 -- but warned about the "fragile" outlook. "Industry should still help the overall economy to pull out of recession before the end of the year. But the recovery clearly looks fragile."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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