Sterling's silver lining

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The Independent Online

The chances of incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney finding a triple-dip recession in his in-tray this summer could fall on Tuesday as manufacturers attempt to bounce back from a January slump.

Although North Sea oil field shutdowns exaggerated a 1.2 per cent fall for the industrial sector at the start of the year, the 1.5 per cent manufacturing slide in January puts the economy at risk of two successive quarters of decline and a return to technical recession.

Experts are braced for a fitful 0.4 per cent recovery in February's figures, helped also by a lack of the snow which hit January's figures. But closely watched surveys from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply suggest the sector is still stuck in reverse.

The weaker pound offers a silver lining for manufacturers, according to IHS Global Insight's Howard Archer: "It should boost their competitiveness both in foreign and domestic markets."