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Manufacturing output figures cast doubt on UK recovery

Yet again figures from the Office for National Statistics have added further confusion for those who had hoped the UK recession had bottomed out. Manufacturing output for the three months to May was down 1.2% which was a further fall on the previous quarter which had shown a fall of 0.6%. As a consequence, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research has been forced to revise its earlier comment that the recession bottomed out in March, although it does not believe the economy is still shrinking.

Manufacturing output is now at its lowest for 17 years and elements from the performance of the UK economy over the last 18 months have put it on a par with the slump in 1930. Even though these are headline grabbing issues and headline grabbing figures there is still a feeling that the UK recession has all but ended although ultimately we await official confirmation from various parties.

As we have suggested before, it is very much one step forward and two steps back with regards to the UK economy although slowly but surely we are seeing signs of stabilisation which should eventually lead to a full-blown recovery. Whether this will come in time to save the Labour government at the next general election very much remains to be seen.

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