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ONS figures show manufacturing output fall

Posted on 5th April 2012

Leading economists have queried official figures which show manufacturing output suffered its biggest monthly fall in ten months in February. 

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that manufacturing output fell by one per cent between January and February. 

Economists had forecast a 0.1 per cent rise in monthly output, with others questioning the official data. 

Ross Walker, economist at Royal Bank of Scotland, claimed that the latest report contained "a strange set of numbers". 

He said: "It doesn't feel right - the one per cent fall in manufacturing. It looks anomalous, it doesn't really go with the big grain of the surveys. 

"This shouldn't throw any real spanner in the works, it isn't going to prompt people to change GDP forecasts." 

Despite the fall in manufacturing output, industrial production - which includes energy and mining - rose 0.4 per cent in February compared to the previous month.