UK industrial production fell 0.2 per cent in December due to North Sea oil output

Jessica Morris
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UK industrial production fell by 0.2 per cent in December (Source: Getty)

The UK's industrial production missed expectations in the last month of 2014, highlighting the increasing dependence of economic growth on the stronger service sector.

UK industrial production fell 0.2 per cent month-on-month in December, as maintenance work on North Sea oil and gas fields curbed output. Economists had been expecting 0.1 per cent growth, according to a poll by Reuters.

However, economists were pleasantly surprised by 0.1 per cent month-on-month manufacturing growth, which was forecast to decline by 0.1 per cent.

On an annual basis, both sets of figure look stronger. Industrial production rose 0.5 per cent on last year, while manufacturing grew 2.4 per cent.

Fourth quarter industrial output rose 0.1 per cent - more than estimated by the ONS - but it's unlikely to affect the final figure.

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, explained: "This only marginally increases the possibility that GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2014 could eventually be revised up from the currently reported 0.5 per cent rate given that industrial production only accounts for 14.6 per cent of GDP."

Industrial production measures how much manufacturing, mining and utilities companies contribute to economic growth.

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