Pace picks up for British industry and car production

Mini plant in Cowley, Oxford The rise in UK car production was driven by domestic demand

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UK car production in October rose at the fastest pace so far this year, and British industrial output is at its highest since 1995, organisations have reported.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the number of cars built in October was up 17% from 2012.

It said the change was the biggest year-on-year increase to date in 2013.

The growth was largely driven by demand for cars to sell in Britain rather than for export, the SMMT said.

It reported 160,854 cars were built in the UK last month, with demand being driven by cheap finance deals and rising consumer confidence.

So far this year, the industry has produced 1,286,287 cars, 5.4% more than at the same point in 2012, the SMMT said.

"UK car manufacturing for the home market increased strongly in October," said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

"With European demand showing early signs of recovery, we expect production to continue positively in the coming months."

'Deepening recovery'

Activity in Britain's factories was also up, with order numbers at the highest level since March 1995, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The CBI's industrial trends survey's total orders showed a positive balance of 11 in November from minus four in October, beating predictions of zero and the average of minus 17.

Total output for the three months to November was at its highest level since January 1995.

Director of economics at the CBI Stephen Gifford said the growth showed "encouraging signs of a broadening and deepening recovery".

He said: "Manufacturers finally seem to be feeling the benefit of growing confidence and spending within the UK and globally."

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