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UK manufacturing at fastest rate of growth in nearly a year

British manufacturing output rose 6.8 per cent in January which was its fastest rate of monthly growth in 10 months, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Official data showed that firms were making up for a weather-related drop in output in December with a one per cent increase on output, more than reversing a 0.1 per cent fall in the previous month.

Electrical and transport equipment industries led the surge in growth, the fastest annual rate in 16 years, and followed a boost to UK exports in the same month.

The figures indicate that the economy is rebounding from a surprising 0.6 per cent decline in the final three months of last year, but it hasn’t changed expectations that the Bank of England will maintain interest rates at their record low 0.5 per cent.

The ONS said that 10 of the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors recorded monthly growth and that an increase in non-metallic mineral products was one of the main drivers at a 9.9 per cent rise.

Chemicals and man-made fibres and electrical and optical equipment also made strong contributions to monthly growth.

It is hoped that strong export-driven growth in manufacturing this year will fill the gaps created by government spending cuts and consumer belt-tightening.

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