OUTPUT in Britain’s manufacturing and construction industries unexpectedly fell in May, suggesting the UK economy has continued to stutter following a slowdown at the start of the year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed manufacturing output had fallen 0.2 per cent month-on-month in May, down from 0.2 per cent growth in April and below economists’ expectations of a 0.3 per cent expansion.

The construction industry also endured a difficult month, failing to reverse April’s 1.1 per cent decline by dropping 1.2 per cent in May against forecasts of 0.5 per cent growth.

Industrial production output — which includes areas such as manufacturing, mining and quarrying, and energy and water supply — dropped 0.1 per cent over the period when it was predicted to expand by 0.4 per cent.

A 0.8 per cent drop from energy supply had resulted in pushing industrial production lower, according to the ONS.