The UK's manufacturing industry picked up pace in June as the sector showed signs of recovery in the run up to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

The Office for National Statistics said manufacturing output fell by 0.3%, stepping up from a 0.6% drop in May, but remaining well below economists' expectations of a flat reading of 0.0%.

But activity in the wider industrial production painted a brighter picture, rising 0.1% month-on-month after edging 0.6% lower in May.

The update pushed the pound lower, falling 0.38% in morning trading to 1.29 US dollars. Against the euro, sterling was also down to 1.17 euros, falling 0.31%.

The ONS said the manufacturing industry saw month-on-month growth pegged back by a 1% drop in transport equipment and contractions from nine of the industry's 13 sub-sectors.

But industrial production motored ahead, driving home its strongest performance since 1999 in the three months to June.

Industrial output rose 2.1% over the period, compared with a 0.2% fall in the quarter before, remaining in line with last month's data for gross domestic product (GDP).

The swing helped UK GDP reach a higher-than-expected 0.6% in the second quarter, up from 0.4% in the first quarter of 2016.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said June's modest rise in industrial production showed the UK economy had "little momentum" in the weeks leading up to the referendum.

He added: "The 2.1% quarter-on-quarter rise in production in Q2 - which matches the estimate that underpinned the preliminary estimate of GDP - mainly reflected the 2.3% month-to-month jump in production in April."

A string of lacklustre surveys have pointed to a marked slowdown in the UK economy following the Brexit vote.

The closely-watched Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed that the manufacturing industry slumped to its lowest level in more than three years in July, hitting 48.2, down from 52.4 in June.

The Bank of England took evasive action last week in a bid to ward off a recession by slashing interest rates to 0.25% for the first time since 2009 and delivering an emergency package worth up to £170 billion.

Andrzej Szczepaniak, UK economist at Barclays, said the positive growth from industrial production was likely to be "short-lived" in the wake of the referendum result.

"Overall, we remain of the view that UK industrial production and manufacturing remains a cause for concern," he said.

"We believe this is driven by a structural lack of competitiveness as well as government policies (including the national living wage as well as the impending apprenticeship levy), only to be amplified by prolonged uncertainty regarding the UK and its trading relationships with the EU and the rest of the world."