Economy

European Stocks Struggle for Direction as French Output Rebounds, UK Production Gains

European Stocks Struggle for Direction as French Output Rebounds, UK Production Gains”

Manufacturing output also advanced 0.7 percent over the month, exceeding economists' expectations for a 0.3 percent gain.

Despite the positive news on industrial production and trade, a separate release from the ONS suggested the construction sector had a torrid September, with output contracting 1.6 per cent.

Britain's industrial output grew by 1.1% in the three months through September, 0.1 percentage points faster than initially thought.

Oil prices, meanwhile, were barely changed with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, the main United States benchmark, were 0.03% higher at $57.19 per barrel while Brent crude, the global gauge Brent was up by 0.3% at $64.09 per barrel.

Manufacturing rose 0.7 per cent in September, the fifth consecutive increase and more double market forecasts.

In trade data, export volumes fell by 1.8% on the quarter, compared with a 1.9% quarterly rise in imports.

A similar pattern emerged in PMI surveys for the start of the current quarter, with manufacturing showing healthy growth in October and construction struggling to avoid falling back into contraction.

Figures on the United Kingdom industrial production, also published Friday, were slightly more upbeat.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said official data was now confirming the United Kingdom was a multi-speed economy, with manufacturing enjoying strong growth and construction in the doldrums, entering a new technical recession.

The reports round off a quarter which saw economic growth pick up slightly to 0.4 per cent, a level which remains below its pre-Brexit referendum average as political uncertainty and inflation crimp consumer spending.

"It's encouraging to see sectors such as machinery and equipment recording strong growth in the third quarter, where output was up 3.0%, as this is a good indicator of rising business investment. So we remain optimistic that net trade will provide more support to growth in the quarters ahead".



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