Strong growth in manufacturing

Posted on 9 May 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

UK manufacturing output increased 1.4% in the first quarter of the year, official figures show, the fastest quarterly growth since 1999, the BBC reported.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures also revealed 5.4% growth in output in construction in the same quarter.

The upsurge, which surpassed forecasts, was predominantly a result of rubber and plastics, which grew by 7.3%. The rise was supported by growth in food, beverage, tobacco, and machinery and equipment industries.

Pharmaceuticals growth fell by 5.8% and the wider measure of industrial production output increased by 0.7% in the first four months of the year.

Last month, output in UK manufacturing rose by 0.5%, which Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, described as “encouraging”.

The ONS also reported a £1.3b fall in the UK trade deficit in March.