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UK manufacturing and production down

It's not all about the eurozone today. The news is also bad for the UK.

The latest release by the ONS of the Index of Production shows falls across the board. Production fell by 1.0 per cent year on year, and stayed flat month on month, while manufacturing fell by 0.3 per cent year on year and 0.7 per cent month on month. Production remains almost 10 per cent lower than it was in 2008.

Nida Ali, economic advisor to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club, commented:

A very disappointing start to the second quarter. In particular, the monthly decline in manufacturing output is worrying, given that business surveys in April had indicated that output would continue increasing. With the PMI survey for May reporting a further slump in activity, the near-term outlook for the sector is pretty bleak.

Despite the decline in manufacturing, industrial production remained flat in April, boosted by a sharp increase in output in the utilities industries. This is clearly temporary and likely to unwind next month, painting a very weak underlying picture.

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.