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By Jai Lakhani
     LONDON (MNI) - February's upcoming industrial production (IOP) print has
analysts pencilling in a slowdown in activity. Estimated growth in February was
pencilled in at 0.5% m/m, down from 1.3% m/m in January.
     The year-on-year estimate, however, is expected to pick up, rising 1.3pp to
2.9% in February.
------------------------------------------
                           Feb         Feb
                    Industrial  Industrial
                    Production  Production
                         % m/m       % oya
Date Out                11-Apr      11-Apr
Median                     0.5         2.9
Forecast High              0.7         3.0
Forecast Low               0.2         2.7
Standard Deviation         0.2         0.2
Count                        6           3
Prior                      1.3         1.6
Capital Economics          0.5         3.0
Credit Suisse              0.7         N/A
Commerzbank                0.7         N/A
Investec                   0.2         2.7
Nomura                     0.3         2.9
UniCredit                  0.5         N/A
     Manufacturing, a bright spot within the UK economy in recent months, is
expected to have continued its expansion in February, albeit at a more modest
pace. Month-on-month growth of 0.2% is pencilled in for February, broadly
unchanged from January, which is seen as enough to take the year-on-year rate to
3.2%.  
                        Wednesday      Wednesday
------------------------------------------------
                              Feb            Feb
                    Manufacturing  Manufacturing
                           Output         Output
                            % m/m          % oya
Date Out                   11-Apr         11-Apr
Median                        0.2            3.2
Forecast High                 0.3            3.3
Forecast Low                 -0.2            2.9
Standard Deviation            0.2            0.2
Count                           4              3
Prior                         0.1            2.7
Capital Economics             0.1            3.2
Credit Suisse                 N/A            N/A
Commerzbank                   N/A            N/A
Investec                     -0.2            2.9
Nomura                        0.2            3.3
UniCredit                     0.3            N/A
     One common theme noted among analysts is that the boost to net trade from a
lower pound is still an ongoing presence. This combined with the unwinding of
rising oil prices could help to explain why analysts have pencilled in a
narrowing of both the total and visible trade balance deficit.
     Analysts anticipate a narrowing of the February total trade balance from
-stg3.1 billion to -stg2.5 billion. The narrowing is slightly less for the
visible trade balance, where the median February estimate suggests a narrowing
from -stg12.3 billion to -stg11.9 billion. 
------------------------------------------
                              Feb      Feb
                            Total  Visible
                    Trade balance    Trade
                           stg bn   stg bn
Date Out                   11-Apr   11-Apr
Median                       -2.5    -11.9
Forecast High                -2.4    -11.6
Forecast Low                 -2.6    -12.0
Standard Deviation            0.1      0.2
Count                           3        3
Prior                        -3.1    -12.3
Capital Economics            -2.4    -11.6
Investec                     -2.6    -11.9
Nomura                        N/A    -12.0
UniCredit                    -2.5      N/A
      
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203 865 3828; email: jai.lakhani@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: jamie.satchithanantham@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; email: david.robinson@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: M$B$$$,M$E$$$]