Hopes of an end to Britain’s recession woes were dashed today when official figures showed that the manufacturing sector suffered a shock fall in output during April.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed a 0.7% drop in manufacturing output between March and April – an unexpected disappointment after the 0.9% rise the previous month.
Wider industrial production output remained unchanged in April, but this was largely helped by a boost from energy output caused by the cold weather as Britons turned up the central heating.
Alan Clarke, economist at Scotiabank, said the chilly weather saved the UK from an industrial production “bloodbath”.
The data is expected to reinforce demands for the Bank of England to increase quantitative easing (QE) to help the UK’s ailing economy.