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UK industrial production improves slightly in April; construction output falls

Total industrial production in the U.K. slightly improved in April due to increased energy production and stronger factory output, according to data released June 9 by the Office for National Statistics.

Monthly total output went up 0.2% from a 0.5% decline in March. Energy supply was the biggest contributor to output growth, rising 2.9% followed by transport equipment manufacturing at 1.8%.

Total production was estimated to have fallen 1.2% in the three months to April from being virtually unchanged in March. This was largely due to the 5.8% drop in energy supply. Total output improved 1.0% in the same period a year ago.

Industrial production fell at an annual rate of 0.8% in April as a result of a contraction in energy production, particularly in electricity supply, and the volatility of the drug manufacturing industry.

According to another statistical release, construction output fell 0.6% in April from a 0.7% rise in March. Declines in repair, maintenance, and all new work were tempered by a significant uptick of 5.7% in infrastructure. Construction activity in the first quarter was revised to 1.1% from the initial estimate of 0.2% while new orders increased 0.7% during the same period as private housing and private commercial work improved.