UK Industry Improving
World Economy

UK Industry Improving

UK manufacturing picked up by 0.5% in August after a July slump, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, BBC reported. Car plants came back online after summer shutdowns and industrial output rebounded, the ONS said. Following the news, the pound rose to its highest level in two weeks against the dollar, briefly moving above $1.53. But compared with August last year, the UK's manufacturing output was still down 0.8%. Taken over a three-month period, which tends to smooth out volatility in the monthly figures, manufacturing fell 0.9% compared with the previous three months. July had seen a sharp monthly fall of 0.7% in output as car makers shut down plants early for the summer. As a result, the 0.5% rebound in August took economists by surprise. The average forecast was for a modest 0.3% rise. At the beginning of this month, surveys from the British Chambers of Commerce and Markit said confidence among UK manufacturers was "low", export growth was falling and jobs were being lost.

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