April was the worst month for UK manufacturing in more than five years. This flies in the face of expectations that the first quarter’s GDP slump was due to a snow-induced hiccup.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the output from firms fell 1.4 per cent in April. This follows the 0.1 per cent decline from the month before, March. Most city analysts were expecting a 0.3 per cent expansion in April. Worse than all that, it was the worst monthly performance since late October 2012.
There was “widespread weakness” in the sector added the ONS, and that with nine of the 13 sub-sectors showed a massive decline.
Included were the broader industrial sectors, (which includes energy companies), saw a 0.8 per cent fall. This was followed by a 0.1 per cent expansion in March.
Dave Ramsden, who is the deputy governor of the Bank of England said last week the recent survey data was indeed supporting the Bank’s view that GDP growth would positively be bouncing back slowly in the second quarter.
Manufacturing which is 10 per cent of UK GDP, suggests otherwise according to the latest reports.
In the wake of the figures, the pound fell dramatically to $1.3373. Traders scaled back their bets on an August interest rate hike from the Bank by the latest statistics.