British manufacturing has been hit by sterling's strength according to latest data.
The sector has seen its biggest decline in more than 12 months as output fell by 0.6% in the first two months of the year.
In the three months to December 2003, output declined by 0.3%.
More worryingly, was the description of the decline as widespread and indications that the future trend was 'flat', according to the Office of National Statistics in England.
Britain's services sector performed well up to March while financial services recorded their sharpest rise in optimism about business conditions in five years.