OUTPUT PICKING UP, UK ECONOMISTS SAY

OUTPUT PICKING UP, UK ECONOMISTS SAY

Firm export orders and a modest rebound in oil and gas output should ensure that official industrial and manufacturing data show month-on-month growth for June, U.K. economists said.

A Knight-Ridder survey of economists suggests that in June, industrial output rose 0.2 percent on the month and 2.0 percent on the year. Meanwhile, manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent on the month and 1.9 percent on the year, according to the economists.This would follow May's monthly decline in both industrial and manufacturing output of 0.1 percent year on year. Industrial output rose 1.4 percent in May, while manufacturing production rose 1.3 percent.

Chris Green, U.K. economist for the French bank Societe Generale, pointed to the fairly optimistic July quarterly survey on industrial trends

from the Confederation of British Industry. The report showed a firm balance of 17 percent of respondents expecting to increase investment in plant and

machinery in the following 12 months, and 21 percent more optimistic about the export outlook than they were four months earlier.

''Preliminary GDP data showed production rose slightly in the second quarter," said Alex Garrard, U.K. economist at UBS.