British Manufacturing Powers Ahead In March

Britain's manufacturing output rose in March by the highest level for nearly a year, The Office for National Statistics said on May 1. Data revealed that manufacturing output, which accounts for about 17% of overall economic activity, rose by 0.7% in March from February -- the highest level since April 2005.

Analysts' consensus forecast had been for a rise of 0.1%, after output had fallen by 0.1% in February.

On a 12-month basis, output was 1.1% higher in March.

The wider measure of industrial production, which includes energy and mineral extraction, also rose in March, according to the data. Industrial production, which accounts for just over 20% of gross domestic product, increased by 0.7% in March from the previous month. It was the highest level since November 2005.

On a year-on-year basis, industrial production was 0.3% higher in March.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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