British manufacturing output rose in March, official data showed on Thursday, gaining for the second month in a row. Manufacturing output rallied by 1.1 percent in March from activity in February, easily outstripping market expectations for a gain of 0.2 percent, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. It dipped by 1.4 percent percent on a 12-month comparison, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement. The monthly increase was driven by output at metals and electronics firms and an increase in North Sea oil and gas production. Electricity and gas production also rose due to cold weather. The ONS added that the wider measure of industrial production -- which includes also mining and quarrying, electricity, gas and water supply -- rose by 0.7 percent in March from February, but also fell 1.4 percent on an annual basis. The official data was published ahead of an interest rate decision from the Bank of England.