British Manufacturing Posts Sharpest Gain Since March 2010

July 7, 2011
Production soared in May by 1.8%.

In May, British manufacturing output rebounded, but only just offset April's heavy drop, official data showed on July 7.

Production soared in May by 1.8%, the Office for National Statistics said. That was the sharpest monthly gain since March 2010.

Output climbed by 2.7% in May on a 12-month comparison. The data beat market expectations for a monthly increase of 1% and an annual gain of 2.1%.

However, the ONS also revised its estimate for April, when activity was hit hard by the special royal wedding holiday, while Japan's tsunami disaster sparked supply problems.

Manufacturing output slumped by 1.6% in April compared with activity in March. That was worse than the previous estimate of a 1.5% decline.

"May's rise in manufacturing output only just offset April's bank holiday-related drop, adding to other evidence suggesting that the industrial recovery is weakening," said Capital Economics analyst Vicky Redwood. She added: "This slowdown in the industrial recovery looks like it might continue."

The ONS added that industrial production, which includes mining and quarrying, as well as electricity, gas, and water supply, rose by 0.9% in May, but was 0.8% weaker than the same month of last year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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