Industrial output up by over 7% in February

German industrial production

The fresh supplies of vegetables helped the retail inflation ease down a bit at 4.28 per cent in March, registering a decline on the third straight month.

During April-February, IIP growth has slowed to 4.3 per cent from 4.7 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

British manufacturing output fell unexpectedly in February, its first drop in nearly a year, according to official figures that added to signs the economy may have slowed in the first quarter. British government bond futures briefly touched a session high after the data was released, while sterling slipped below $1.42.

The subdued output figures will be of interest to Bank of England officials who are widely expected to raise interest rates next month. "This latest weak data shouldn't be a deal breaker for the May rate hike, but I'm starting to get wary of how many times I've said that in recent weeks", Scotiabank economist Alan Clarke said.

Overall industrial production recorded a monthly rise of 0.1% in February, aided by a jump in electricity and gas generation during a spell of unusually cold weather.




"In terms of industries, fifteen out of the twenty three industry groups (asper 2-digit NIC-2008) in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of February 2018 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year", the CSO said. The central bank believes the economy's ability to expand without stoking inflation has taken a hit from weak investment and poor productivity growth.

"The General Index for the month of February 2018 stands at 127.7, which is 7.1 per cent higher as compared to the level in the month of February 2017", said the CSO report on the "Quick Estimates" of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for February. Industrial output accounts for 14 percent of Britain's overall economic output.

The consumer goods production declined by 1.5% in February, while energy production grew by 4% and construction declined by 2.2%.

There was some anecdotal evidence that heavy snow in late February had hurt construction output, although the effect was hard to quantify, the ONS said. Separate figures on Britain's trade performance brought better news, however.

Exports of goods declined slightly, but imports fell more sharply, both in value and in volume, the ONS said.

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