London, United Kingdom (4E) – UK manufacturing output in May surprised analysts by recording a 1.3 percent drop in May, the largest decline since January 2013.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the figure was weaker than economists’ estimate of a 0.4 percent gain.
So far this year, manufacturing data and indicators have pointed to a robust growth in the sector. The broader gauge of industrial output also declined in May, according to the ONS report, falling by 0.7 percent.
Manufacturing output edged higher 3.7 percent in May compared with the year-earlier month, lower than April’s 4.3 percent increase, while industrial output slowed to 2.3 percent from 2.9 percent on an annual basis.
The lower output in May comes after German industrial production registered a 1.8 percent decline in May, according to figures released on Monday.
Despite the unexpected monthly decline, the larger picture continues to be positive in May with the manufacturing activity in the three-month period through May still higher by 1.1 percent than the previous three months, although it grew at a slower pace than the 1.9 percent increase in the three months through April.