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Pound falls on manufacturing slump
TRIPLE-dip recession fears deepened after manufacturing output slid at the fastest pace since June, wiping out the previous month's gains.
The latest gloomy official figures, that showed manufacturing output dropped 1.5 per cent on the month, heaped further pressure on the pound, which declined to a new two-and-a-half-year low of 1.48 against the US dollar.
The UK economy contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.3 per cent at the end of 2012 and will return to recession with another decline in the current quarter. The figures will concern Chancellor George Osborne as he prepares to deliver his budget next week.
Samuel Tombs, UK economist at consultancy Capital Economics, said: "January's figures do little to ease fears that GDP may still be contracting and that the economy could therefore be in a triple-dip recession."
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