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UK GDP Contracts For Second Month

The UK economy contracted for the second straight month in April on weak manufacturing, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Monday.

Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent on a monthly basis after easing 0.1 percent in March. GDP was forecast to drop again by 0.1 percent.

In three months to April, GDP expanded at a slower pace of 0.3 percent after climbing 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

In April, industrial production declined for the first time this year on sharp fall in manufacturing. Production decreased 2.7 percent month-on-month, reversing a 0.7 percent rise in March and bigger than the expected 1 percent drop.

Manufacturing output contracted 3.9 percent on month, in contrast to a 0.9 percent rise in March. This was the biggest fall since June 2002 and larger than the forecast of 1.4 percent decrease.

On a yearly basis, industrial production fell 1 percent after expanding 1.3 percent a month ago. Likewise, manufacturing slid 0.8 percent following a 2.6 percent rise in previous month.

Economists had forecast industrial output to grow 0.9 percent and manufacturing to climb 2 percent.

The index of services remained flat in April after dropping 0.1 percent in March. Economists had forecast a 0.1 percent rise.

Further, data showed that construction output declined 0.4 percent on month, following a steep 1.9 percent contraction in March.

Another report from ONS showed that the visible trade deficit narrowed to a six-month low in April. The trade gap fell to GBP 12.1 billion in April from GBP 15.4 billion in March.

At the same time, the trade in services showed a surplus of GBP 9.37 billion. Consequently, total trade deficit narrowed to GBP 2.74 billion from GBP 6.15 billion a month ago.

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