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Industrial Output Gains as Manufacturing Falls in the U.K.

“June 11 (Bloomberg) — U.K. industrial production unexpectedly rose in April, boosted by increased output at oil and water companies. Manufacturing fell after gains in February and March.

Output at factories, utilities and mines rose 0.1 percent from March, the Office for National Statistics said today in LondonThe median forecast of 28 economists in a Bloomberg News survey was for no change. Manufacturing dropped 0.2 percent after gains averaging 0.9 percent in the previous two months.

Industrial output posted its strongest quarterly performance in almost three years through April, adding to signs the economy is gaining momentum after returning to growth in the first quarter. Surveys by Markit Economics published this month showed services and manufacturing were at the highest in 14 months in May. The euro area, Britain’s largest trading partner, is also showing signs of improvement, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi saying last week the region’s economy will return to growth by the end of the year.

“The U.K. economy can and will get better,” said Rob Wood, an economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “Today’s industrial production data suggest the sector will contribute positively to growth in the second quarter.”

The pound fell after the data were published, and traded at $1.5553 at 10:43 a.m. in London, down 0.1 percent from yesterday.

Quarterly Growth

In the three months through April, industrial production gained 0.8 percent, the largest increase since July 2010, the ONS said. Manufacturing rose 0.5 percent, the most since September last year. From a year earlier, manufacturing fell 0.5 percent and industrial production declined 0.6 percent.

Out of 13 categories in manufacturing, 10 declined in April, while three increased. The fall on the month was led by transport equipment. There were also declines in the output of wood and paper products and basic metals and metal goods. The declines were largely offset by a 14 percent jump in pharmaceuticals production….”

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