April's figures from the UK Office for National Statistics reveal the first rise in three months for manufacturing output, backing up earlier studies by industry bodies.

The 0.9% growth is "stronger than expected", according to economist Mark Miller at Halifax bank, and will have been a contributing factor in the Bank of England's decision this week to raise UK interest rates by a 0.25 percentage point to 4.5%.

Recovery in the manufacturing sector is due, in part, to growth in the chemical industries -- especially drug preparation -- and increases in machine and equipment production.

Also performing well is UK industrial production, which increased by 0.7% on the month and 0.5% on the year, bettering estimates of 0.5% and 0.1% respectively.

• Separate ONS figures are less welcome. Increased imports over exports by the oil trade widened the UK global trade gap in April to £4.7 billion ($8.6bn; €7.1bn).

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff