By the largest amount in a decade, British manufacturing output surged in July, rebounding from the previous month when activity was hit by public holidays for Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee.
Production soared 3.2% in July from June to record the biggest monthly rise since July 2002, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. However, it fell 0.5% on an annual basis.
Manufacturing activity had contracted by 2.9% in June, when the country celebrated the Queen's diamond jubilee with two public holidays.
The ONS added Friday that the wider measure of industrial output -- which includes manufacturing, mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply -- rebounded by 2.9% in July from June.
That was the strongest monthly increase since February 1987.
IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer said the upbeat data would provide a "significant" boost to hopes of economic growth in the third quarter, or three months to the end of September.
"There is now genuine hope that the economy will be able to more than make up the second-quarter GDP contraction of 0.5% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter," he said.
Britain sank into recession in late 2011 and has experienced three successive quarters of economic contraction.
Gross domestic product shrank by 0.4% in the fourth quarter of last year, and by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively in the first and second quarters of 2012.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012