British manufacturing output unexpectedly rose in April thanks to higher production of aircraft and motor vehicles, official data showed on Tuesday.
The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output rose by 0.1 percent in April against analysts' predictions of no change. That left output up 0.1 percent on the year.
Industrial production also rose versus expectations of no change, up 0.2 percent on the month as it was also boosted by higher energy production because of a cooler April this year.
While the figures provide some relief from the unrelenting gloom of recent data on the British economy, statisticians still described the trend for manufacturing as flat and surveys have also been pointing to stagnation in the sector.
Markets are now pricing in the Bank of England will raise interest rates more than once this year though analysts say the central bank is still more likely to reduce borrowing costs to bolster the economy in the face of a global credit crunch.
The ONS said the rise in aircraft production followed some weak months while car production has been strong in the last few months because of higher export demand.