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Boost to UK manufacturing

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UK manufacturing grew for the fourth consecutive month in August 2006. The 0.4% rise was better than expected, and is evidence of a recovery in the sector.
Releasing the figures this month, the Office for National Statistics said the increase in factory output was broad-based, noting a significant increase in electrical and optical equipment industries.
The wider industrial production measure, including energy industries, climbed by 0.1% in august, giving an annual increase of 0.7%. The figures are unlikely to have much influence on the Bank of England, which is expected to raise interest rates later this year from 4.75% to 5%.
In industrial production, the ONS said an increase in gas output had helped to offset a decline in oil production due to scheduled maintenance work on North Sea rigs.

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