Britain's manufacturing sector just entered a surprise slump for the first time in two years

UK industrial production missed expectations significantly in July, according to figures just out.

Production slumped by 0.4% from June to July. Analysts had expected a 0.1% increase.

That leaves industrial production up by just 0.8% year-on-year, a pretty feeble expansion given that the UK is seeing solid growth.

Manufacturing production figures alone look even worse, with a 0.8% slump on the month in July, leaving production down 0.4% year-on-year.

The EEF, a lobby group for manufacturers, recently cut its growth rate in half. EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said “We’ve seen the future of the Eurozone on the line once again, turbulence and uncertainty over China and Greece and, of course, oil and gas are still a concern. Against this backdrop it’s no surprise that confidence is faltering and UK manufacturers are feeling less optimistic about their growth prospects for next year.”

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