Figures published by the UK Office for National Statistics show that manufacturing output in the UK has fallen.
In March, there was a decrease of 1.5% in manufacturing output, while output of the electricity, gas and water supply industries fell by 1.7%, and mining and quarrying output (including oil and gas extraction) fell by 0.8%.
In the first three months of the year, there were significant decreases in output of 6.7% in the electrical and optical equipment industries, 3.4% in the machinery and equipment industries and 1.4% in the transport equipment industries.
There was a significant increase, however, in output of 1.7% in the basic metals and metal products industries.
The news means that the interest rate set by the Bank of England in the UK is likely to go unchanged.