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UK manufacturing rebounds, trade gap widens - reaction
US industrial output rose more than expected in February driven by a rebound in manufacturing, while the goods trade deficit grew to £9.42bn from £8.17bn, according to the ONS. This is how economists' reacted:

Brian Hilliard, Societe Generale

"The manufacturing numbers were a pleasant surprise. They lift a bit of the gloom from the releases in recent months, but we shouldn't get carried away. The industrial production figures were flattered by the very cold weather and energy use. All in all, the figures don't alter the basic outlook."

Ross Walker, RBS

"We thought it would bounce back ... It's hardly a dramatic recovery but it does look to be avoiding a symbolic triple dip recession."

James Knightly, ING

"With the UK's largest oil and gas field coming back on-stream in March, likely leading to another positive gain in output, we are more optimistic that the UK can avoid its third technical recession in five years.

"Unfortunately, February's trade numbers were not as good with the trade deficit posting a sharp widening, largely due to disappointing trade with the eurozone."

Rob Wood, Berenberg

"A temporary respite for manufacturing, but this could a blip or just volatility. This probably makes a triple dip recession less likely but does not change the overall picture of the UK economy which is one of stagnation."

David Tinsley, BNP Paribas

"The bottom line is that the level of industrial production in February is still roughly where it was in the fourth quarter of last year. So it is not as dramatic as the month-on-month increases would suggest ... You've also got to remind yourself that this data is weather-impacted as well, so the underlying growth is probably of the order of 0.2pc or 0.3 pc. No great shakes - but better than nothing."

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