The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that after a 0.3% rise in July, activity was now almost 5% higher than it was in July 2009, the fastest rate of growth since December 1994.
Today’s official figures indicate, however, that despite picking up from its post-recession trough a year ago, output is still almost 10% lower than it was in 2006, the last full year before the credit crunch began.
The ONS said manufacturing output in the latest three months – a better guide to the underlying trend – was up 0.9% on the previous three months and by 4.3% on the May to July period of 2009.
Industrial production, which includes output from mines, quarries, the North Sea and power plants, was also up by 0.3% between June and July this year and by 0.6% over the quarter.
Howard Archer, UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “While the July data indicate that industrial production started off the third quarter reasonably well, manufacturing survey evidence for August from the purchasing managers and the CBI was weaker overall, thereby fuelling belief that the manufacturing sector will find it very difficult to match its first-half growth performance over the second half of the year.”