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British manufacturing, exports stimulated by weaker sterling
2017/3/13 14:46:59 Source:Xinhua

LONDON, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Short-term industrial data released on Friday showed that the British economy is enjoying a sustained lift in the manufacturing sector, and continued strength in exports stimulated by the recent depreciation in sterling.

The three sets of figures released by the official data body the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed positive results in industrial output, manufacturing output and construction output.

In addition, trade balance figures also released by the ONS on Friday showed a positive stimulus from weakened sterling.

Industrial production (IP) grew by 1.9 percent in the three months November to January, the strongest growth in rolling three-month figures since June last year.

Within the figures, the pharmaceutical sector showed a high level of volatility over the three-month period. After two months of strong growth in this industry, January saw a sharp decline, which contributed -0.84 percentage points to the monthly fall in total IP.

The monthly IP figure for January showed a fall of 0.4 percent on the December figure, but both the December and November figures were notably strong.

ONS figures for manufacturing output echoed the growth in industrial production over the past three months, growing 2.1 percent which is the highest since May, 2010.

The fall in the rate of sterling against other currencies in the wake of the Brexit referendum vote on June 23, has created favorable conditions for British manufacturers to take advantage of recovering demand in overseas markets.

The trade figures indicated that the strength of the underlying momentum in manufacturing is largely due to stronger exports.

Further ONS data showed that construction activity fell by 0.4 percent month on month in January as repair and maintenance and new housing categories saw output levels decline.

Increases in infrastructure projects and other public sector work helped to bolster the sector, with a 0.8 percent month on month increase.

In addition, upward revisions to previous data meant that the annual pace of growth was higher than expected, at 2 percent annually.

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