By Max Clarke

“The manufacturing sector was the one bright spark of the UK economy in 2010 but it is not performing so far in 2011” said World First Chief Economist Jeremy Cook, responding to today’s index of production figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

After gains made in industrial output, production dropped 1.2% from January to February of this year, though is currently 2.4% higher than February 2010.

Oil and gas extraction tumbled 11.4% over the year, while oil and gas production slid 7.8%; figures that are likely to worsen after Osborne’s taxes on oil companies announced in the Budget take effect.

Growth was experienced in the transport equipment and machinery and equipment, at 13.5% and 12.9% respectively, while losses in other sectors contributed to a 5.8% decrease.

“This is damaging to the coalition’s beliefs that we are due for an export-led recovery,” continued Cook.