Commenting on the manufacturing output figures for May, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Manufacturing output rose 1.8% in May, slightly more than most analysts expected. But this came after a sharp decline in April, and the wider industrial production figures were weaker than expected in May. On the basis of these figures, we reiterate our prediction that GDP in the second quarter of 2011 will see a modest increase of 0.3%.

“The figures show that the manufacturing recovery remains on course, despite the uncertain international background and the impact of the government’s deficit cutting programme.

“While the recovery is modest, the manufacturing output figures show there is no need for the government to abandon its current fiscal plans. However, the economic situation remains uncertain and everything must be done to ensure that there are no setbacks in the months ahead. The government must be more forceful in implementing growth-enhancing policies and in deregulating the labour market. On its part, the MPC must postpone interest rate increases at least until the final three months of the year.


Notes to editors:

The BCC will publish its Q2 Quarterly Economic Survey on Monday 11th July.

ONS figures available here: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=6230

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221