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UK sees rapid manufacturing growth

10th March 2011

The UK's manufacturing output increased at its fastest rate for 16 years in January, new figures from the Office for National Statistics have confirmed.

According to the data, manufacturing output was up 6.8 per cent on January 2010 and one per cent on the previous month, suggesting the country's economy is recovering from the contraction seen in the last quarter.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the figures indicate that the economy is 'rebalancing', particularly as output increased in 12 of the 13 sub-sectors.

'The manufacturing recovery is gathering momentum, and this data supports our belief that economic growth is positive in the current quarter, after the setback at the end of last year,' he added.

However, Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist, said the severe weather conditions experienced in December 'significantly distorted' January's figures, suggesting the manufacturing recovery is not as impressive as data suggests.

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