By Marcus Leach

The country's fledgling economic recovery took a serious blow today (Thursday) as data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that UK manufacturing output fell by 1% in February.

The drop was the biggest monthly fall in ten months, and coupled with a decrease in factory output the statistics paint a gloomier picture for the economy.

The figures were much worse than expected, as economists had forecast a 0.1% rise for both the month and year.

Recent private sector surveys suggest the economy is picking up, though, with growth in manufacturing and services, so despite a big shock, it doesn't taint the picture totally.

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