–Apr manufacturing output -0.4% m/m; +3.4% y/y
–Apr industrial production -0.4% m/m; +2.1% y/y

LONDON (MNI) – Manufacturing output fell unexpectedly in April
following strong growth in the previous two months, according to figures
released by National Statistics Friday.

Manufacturing output was down 0.4% on the month in April and up
3.4% on the same month a year earlier. The outturn was far weaker than
the median forecast for a rise of 0.5% on the month and 3.7% on the

While the weaker figures will cause many to question just how
robust the recovery in the sector is, the decline follows two months of
exceedingly strong growth.

On a trend basis, manufacturing output rose 2.5% in the latest
three months compared with the previous three months, the strongest
increase since October 1998.

National Statistics said that they had not received any anecdotal
evidence that the disruption to air travel from the ash cloud during
the month had hit output.

Within the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors there were falls in output
in 6 and rises in 6. The main falls came in transport equipment and
food, drink and tobacco.

The wider measure of industrial production rose also fell by 0.4%
on the month and was up 2.1% on the year. Analysts had expected to see a
rise of 0.4% on the month and 2.2% on the year.

Electricity, gas and water supply output fell 0.5% on the month
while mining and quarrying was flat with oil and gas output falling

–London newsroom 4420 7634 1624 email: drobinson@marketnews.com