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News - 4 April 2012

Shock fall in February factory output.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) says that UK manufacturing output fell by 1% in February, suffering its biggest monthly fall for 10 months, and factory output was also down 1.4% compared with a year ago, casting doubt on the country's economic recovery. The ONS also revised down January's manufacturing figure to show a drop of 0.3%. It had previously stated a 0.1% rise.

Economic news since the start of the year had been better, and the Purchasing Managers' Indices (PMIs) pointed to first-quarter growth of as much as 0.5 percent, while the British Chambers of Commerce first-quarter survey showed the strongest growth in factory orders and sales since Q2 2011.

But the wider measure of industrial production, which includes energy and mining, rose 0.4% month-on-month. Colder weather in February, after a relatively mild December and January, boosted oil and gas production and electricity generation. Oil and gas output jumped by 4.6 percent in February - its biggest rise since March 2010 - but is still 10.7 percent down on a year ago. Manufacturing output in the three months to February was up 0.2 percent, its biggest rise since July 2011, helped by a strong December.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the total industrial production figure "still supports our assessment that there will be a small increase in GDP in the first quarter of the year".

Lavinia Newman, Founder of ABDS says:

“the three-month on three-month figures provided by the ONS, which showed a rise of 0.2% in manufacturing, is hopefully more indicative of a longer term trend.”

If you need any help and advice on Business Plans, Management Accounts, Budgets and Cash Flow Forecasts, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar NOW to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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