North Sea oil lifts wider industrial output despite fall in crude prices

A sharp rise in oil production from the North Sea helped to increase industrial production in October, despite the slump in global crude prices. The oil industry data masked more disappointing manufacturing figures and pushed total industrial production 0.1% higher in October compared with September. With upwards revisions to previous months, the annual growth rate climbed to 1.7%, significantly higher than the 1.1% recorded last month. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has estimated that the economy grew 0.6% in the quarter ending in November compared with the previous three months. But manufacturing output fell 0.4% in October, according to the ONS, with strength in pharmaceuticals offset by weakness in machine tool and other equipment production. Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the dip in manufacturing was a sign that 'the strong pound is starting to stifle the economic recovery, and the continued weakness of the manufacturing surveys suggest further falls lie ahead'.


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