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Industrial output rockets
INDUSTRIAL output rose at its fastest pace for 25 years in July, official figures show.
The Office for National Statistics said industrial output rose by 2.9 per cent, after dropping by 2.4 per cent in June when output was hit by the Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Manufacturing output rose by 3.2 per cent, the fastest pace for 10 years, after falling by 2.9 per cent in June.
Analysts welcomed the rises but warned that the sector still faced challenges.
Despite the strong rise in July, the ONS figures showed that industrial output was down 0.8 per cent in July from a year earlier.
Manufacturing output, which excludes the energy and mining sectors, was 0.5 per cent lower than July 2011.
David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the monthly increase in July was considerably larger than anticipated and that the figures reinforced the potential for the manufacturing sector to recover.
But he added that longer-term trends in manufacturing remained disappointing, and that he still saw the prospect of a decline in 2012 overall.