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Manufacturing up by 6.8%

UK manufacturing grew in January at its fastest annual rate in 16 years, official figures revealed today, adding to evidence the the economy bounced back from a dismal end to last year.

Manufacturing output rose 6.8% in January, compared to the same month a year ago, and was 1% higher than in December, its fastest rate of growth in 10 months, the Office for National Statistics said.

The surge was led by electrical and transport equipment industries and followed positive trade figures yesterday, which showed a boost to UK exports in January.

The figures add to hopes that the UK economy may have recovered in the first quarter of 2011, after it surprisingly declined by 0.6% in the final three months of last year.