UK manufacturing output grew by 1.4% in the first quarter of the year, the strongest quarterly pace since 1999, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.
The was further good news for the economy as construction output grew by 5.4% in the quarter.
The ONS also said that the UK trade deficit fell to £1.3bn in March.
Separately, research organisation NIESR upgraded its growth forecast for the UK economy to 2.9% in 2014.
This was up from its previous estimate of 2.4%.
NIESR also increased its growth estimate for 2015 to 2.4% from 2.1%, and sees growth remaining at about 2.4% for the following two years.