British Manufacturing Rebounds In March

Back to health after loss in February

Manufactured output in Britain rose by 0.6% in March after posting in February the biggest fall for almost two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on May 10.

"The healthy rebound in manufacturing activity in March is likely to reinforce the Bank of England's concerns that firms will continue to become more confident in their pricing power and maintains pressure for higher interest rates," Global Insight economist Howard Archer said.

Manufactured output accounts for 14.7% of the British economy.

On a 12-month basis, manufactured output climbed 0.9% in February, the ONS added, which beat market expectations for an increase of 0.8%.

The ONS added that 11 of the 13 manufacturing sub-sectors grew in March from February, with the largest rise coming in machinery and equipment where output increased by 1.2%.

The wider industrial production measure, which accounts for around 18.6% of British gross domestic product, climbed by 0.3% in March from February. On a year-on-year basis, industrial production was 0.2% lower.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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