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October 9, 2009    

Factory gate prices in surprise September rise

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by Kay Murchie

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed a surprise rise in factory gate prices for the month of September - the first rise since April.

According to the ONS, the prices of goods leaving UK factories grew 0.5% on year and rose 0.4% on the month.

The news surprised analysts who had expected an annual fall of 0.1%.

Most sectors contributed to the rises, said the ONS, with most having a positive impact on output prices over the month.

Meanwhile, input prices (the cost of materials and fuels that manufacturers buy) declined 0.5% on the month and 6.5% year-on-year.

Commenting on today’s figures, Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight, said: “The higher-than-expected producer output price data for September are yet another example of inflation recently being firmer than expected and suggests that manufacturers may have been trying to take advantage of the recent overall stabilisation in output to try to improve their margins.”

Separately, Britain’s trade gap narrowed to £2.3 billion in September, from £2.6 billion in August - however, this was in line with analysts’ forecasts and represents the smallest trade gap since June 2006.

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