France Industrial Output Rebounds In May

Minister Theresa May arrives on the first day of the G-20 summit in Hamburg northern Germany Friday

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast industrial production would rise by 0.5%.

"This morning's data paint a rather bleak picture for the United Kingdom economy and underline the challenges lying ahead", said Kay Daniel Neufeld, senior economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

In addition, the Bank of England's chief economist, Andy Haldane, said last week it needed to "look seriously" at the possibility of raising interest rates to counter the recent pick-up in inflation, BBC said. Nonetheless, the pace of growth was weaker than the expected 1%.

United Kingdom industrial production, construction output and trade all dropped more than expected in May, according to data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In March, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the two-year Brexit process but discussions only began in June after a general election in which her Conservative Party lost its majority in parliament. Output in the construction sector dropped 1.2% in the three months to May.

The strength of next Wednesday's official data on wages is now likely to be critical for BoE policymakers as they mull whether to raise interest rates from their record low 0.25 percent.

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Rate-setter Michael Saunders said this week he was "reasonably confident" improving exports and investment would more or less compensate for the consumer slowdown.

United Kingdom industrial production and construction output dropped unexpectedly in May, weighing on the economic growth for the second quarter.

Data published on Thursday had shown strong foreign demand raised industrial orders in May, though the increase was less pronounced than expected.

Broader industrial output fell 0.1 percent in May after a 0.2 percent rise in April.

Britain's trade deficit widened to £8.9 billion ($11.47 billion) in the three months to May, from £6.9 billion in the previous quarter, thanks to a jump in the goods and services that the country is importing, news outlets reported. By comparison, import volumes rose 2.8 percent over the same period.

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