The UK manufacturing sector in February enjoyed its first growth in six months, raising hopes that industry is starting to climb out of its year-long recession.

According to the Office for National Statistics, output rose a better-than-expected 0.4% in February, better than January’s 0.5% decline but still down 5.8% year on year.

Around three-quarters of the growth is attributed to a 7.5% increase in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals due to high drug exports to the US. This is forecast to continue for another month at least.

Separately, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimated that the British economy expanded by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2002.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff