Both UK manufacturing and services remain robust, but while survey data showed on Monday that manufacturing output is still expanding, growth in the dominant services sector is slowing.
Although the data pitched the two segments of UK business activity in contrast, analysts said they still expected growth in the second quarter to pick up after a disappointing Q1.
Export growth lifts manufacturers
A quarterly survey compiled by the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF) showed that exports were up, recruitment in the manufacturing sector was flourishing and companies were upbeat about the prospects for the rest of the year.
Demand from European markets was particularly strong as three-fifths of the companies surveyed reported an upturn in exports to the Continent.
Confidence rose about future growth prospects, prompting EEF to raise its manufacturing growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018.
"It's very encouraging that UK manufacturers have positioned themselves to capitalise on the windfall of a competitive pound and resurgent world economy," said EEF chief economist Lee Hopely.
Service sector growth slows
In contrast, UK service sector growth slowed more than expected in May, according to a survey of British purchasing managers by IHS Markit.
Services PMI slowed to 53.8 in May, down from 55.8 in April and lower than the 55 forecast in a poll of economists. A figure above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.
While the survey indicated solid employment growth in Britain's service industries, companies appeared to be turning cautious about the outlook, weighed by concerns over Brexit and weaker household spending.