Commenting on the July manufacturing prices figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Economic Adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"The July falls in manufacturing output and in total industrial production were bigger than expected. It is disappointing that the benefits of a weaker pound in terms of improved export competitiveness have not been sufficient to offset the negative effects for manufacturing of a weakening home market.

"The figures indicate that GDP as a whole is likely to record a decline in the third quarter of the year, and we are now very probably in technical recession. A major economic downturn can still be avoided, but early corrective action is needed. The MPC must not delay too long before it starts cutting interest rates."