Economy

United Kingdom manufacturing output falls 0.2% in February

United Kingdom manufacturing output falls 0.2% in February”

The subdued output figures will be of interest to Bank of England officials who are widely expected to raise interest rates next month. The German industrial production declined by 1.6% in February compared to the previous month, when it recorded an anemic growth of 0.1% and a median expectation of the financial markets to rise by 0.3%.

The reason for the slowdown was a 0.2% month-on-month fall in manufacturing production, undershooting forecasts for 0.2% growth and the 0.1% reported a month earlier.

German industrial output slowed down sharply to 2.6% yoy in February 2018 from 6.6% in January and the expectations of the financial markets for a better growth of 4.4%.

Most economists believe the United Kingdom economy will slow this year, with the latest consensus of City forecasts released by the Treasury pointing to 1.5 per cent growth in 2018, down from 1.7 per cent last year - although newer forecasts predict growth of 1.6 per cent.

IP was only in positive territory boosted by growth in the energy supply sector due to the colder than normal weather.

Manufacturing output, which was a bright spot a year ago thanks to the strong global economy, fell 0.2 percent month-on-month in February after a downward revision showed it stagnated in January, the Office for National Statistics said.

However, construction output dropped by 1.6% in February, on top of January's 3.1% decline.

Amit Kara, head of United Kingdom macroeconomic forecasting at Niesr, said the severe weather "is likely to have disrupted activity in all major sectors of the economy", denting growth in spite of a "small offset" from increased industrial production thanks to the Fortis oil pipeline shutdown, the conduit for a major chunk of North Sea oil production.

The pace of economic growth slowed slightly in 2017 as higher inflation caused by the fall in sterling after the Brexit vote hurt consumers, although some exporters have gained from the weaker pound and the stronger euro zone economy.

Output from manufacturing rose by 2.5% year-on-year.

The consensus of economists polled by Reuters pointed to a reading of 0.4 percent. "All told, today's data look consistent with GDP growth slowing to 0.2% in Q1 - below the MPC's 0.3% forecast - from 0.4% in Q4, casting doubt over whether a May rate hike is as likely as markets now expect".



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