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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Manufacturing slumps on royal wedding, tsunami (AFP)

LONDON (AFP) – British manufacturing output slid 1.5 percent in April compared with activity in March, with production impacted by the royal wedding and Japan's tsunami disaster, official data showed on Friday.

Output meanwhile rose by 1.3 percent in April on a 12-month comparison, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

"Feedback from companies has highlighted the extra bank holiday in April and the after effects of the Japanese tsunami as factors influencing the reduction in output," the ONS added.

British workers were given a day off on April 29 to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, while Japan's natural disaster meant vital parts could not be sent abroad to Britain, hitting production.

The ONS added on Friday that the wider measure of output, British industrial production, dived 1.7 percent from March and decreased by 1.2 percent year-on-year, according to the ONS.

The month-on-month drop was the biggest since August 2009, while analysts had forecast a fall of just 0.1 percent. Industrial production includes mining and quarrying, as well as electricity, gas, and water supply.

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