Manufacturing production in recession-hit Britain fell by a bigger-than-expected 0.7% in April compared with March, official data showed on June 12.
Market expectations had been for a rise of 0.1%, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Manufacturing output, which excludes mining and quarrying, as well as the electricity, gas and water supply sectors, fell 0.3% in April compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) added.
The wider measure of industrial output was flat in April compared with March and was down 1% year-on-year.
"Unchanged (month-on-month) industrial production in April masks a very worrying 0.7% drop in manufacturing output that is a blow to the economy's chances of avoiding further contraction in the second quarter," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight research group.
"Industrial production was only saved from contraction in April (compared with March) by a surge in electricity and gas output which was lifted by the very cold and wet (British) weather."
Britain's economy is in recession after it shrank 0.3% in the first quarter of this year and by the same amount in the final three months of 2011. Britain earlier clawed its way out of a record-length recession in the third quarter of 2009.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012