UK industrial production hits 3-year high
London, June 11, 2014
British industry enjoyed its strongest annual growth in over three years in April, a further sign that the country's rapid economic expansion is becoming less reliant on consumer demand.
Industrial output grew three per cent, beating forecasts to record its biggest annual rise since January 2011, and in the three months to April it achieved its fastest pace of growth since June 2010.
Britain's economy as a whole kept up last year's strong momentum in the first part of this year, and the recovery is showing signs of broadening out from its earlier reliance on consumer demand and housing-related sectors.
That will be reassuring for policymakers who worry about the sustainability of a recovery led by consumers enjoying record low interest rates and a sharp rebound in house prices.
Both industrial output and its main manufacturing component grew by 0.4 per cent in April - in line with forecasts - and manufacturing output was 4.4 per cent higher than a year earlier, the fastest expansion since February 2011.
The Office for National Statistics said industrial output would have shown even greater annual growth had it not been for an unusually warm April.
The weather contributed to an 11.5 per cent decline in electricity and gas output in April, which knocked around 1 per cent point off the annual industrial output growth rate.
British GDP is likely to reach its pre-financial crisis level during the current quarter.-Reuters