A report on UK production for May offered a misleading signal. Data from the Office of National Statistics showed that:
Production rose by 1.0 per cent between April 2012 and May 2012, with manufacturing rising by 1.2 per cent. But when adjusted for the number of working days in the month, the data continued to point to a recession:
In 2012, the end of May bank holiday was moved to June resulting in an additional working day in May, which may have been a contributing factor to the month on month growth shown in the production and manufacturing sectors.
Even without the move of the holiday from one month to the next, there is not much to cheer economists who watch the UK gross domestic product and employment situations. The Bank of England recently said it would step in to aid the country, which has started to suffer a GDP contraction. Concern is rising that the government’s austerity program has robbed business and consumer confidence.
Douglas A. McIntyre