Manufacturing figures fuel recession speculation

UK manufacturing output  fell by 0.9
per cent in April, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figure represents
the largest monthly fall since August 1997.

In the past three months, output dropped by 1.1 per cent, the worst fall
since September 1991 when the sector was in recession.

Economists have been surprised by the decline and the figures have prompted
renewed talk of a recession in the sector.

The ONS says a major contributor to the headline figures was 3.7 per cent fall
in output from electrical and optical equipment industries, and notably the
mobile phone sector.

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