Sterling soars to highest level this year after output smashes expectations

Jessica Morris
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Industrial and manufacturing production both rose in March (Source: Getty)

The pound soared after this morning after UK output beat expectations in March, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.

Total production and manufacturing rose in March, increasing 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively. Industrial production smashed analysts expectations, as many had said it would remain flat month-on-month.

This pushed the pound up against the dollar to $1.5628, which is its highest level this year.

Data released last month showed gross domestic product slowed to 0.3 per cent in the first three months of 2015, meaning the economy is growing at its slowest growth rate since 2012.

"This was an improvement on the 0.1 per cent decline estimated in the preliminary national accounts so gives a lift to hopes that gross domestic product growth in the first quarter will be revised up from the currently reported 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter," Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS, said.

"However, as industrial production only accounts for 14.6 per cent of gross domestic product - this in itself will only add around 0.03 percentage point to first quarter growth."

The ONS also said this wasn't enough to point to an upward revision of overall economic growth when the second estimate is published on May 28.

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