Slow industrial production figures disappoint in November

City A.M. Reporter
Sluggish industrial and construction figures out today have increased concerns that the UK economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics, industrial production grew by a less-than-expected 0.3 per cent in November, despite a rebound in oil and gas production that had been expected to add to the figures.

On an annual basis, industrial production dropped by 2.4 per cent.

Manufacturing output fell 0.3 per cent on the month, less than the 1.3 per cent fall in October but coming in below forecasts. Year on year, output from the sector was 2.1 per cent lower.

Separate construction figures released this morning showed a 3.4 per cent month-on-month drop in output, and a 9.8 per cent annual drop, snubbing hopes for a rebound in the sector.

"The weakness of recent survey data on the dominant services sector has raised fears that the UK might ‘triple-dip’ with a new period of contraction starting in fourth-quarter figures; today’s releases certainly leave that as a possibility," said Victoria Clarke at Investec.

"Even a sharp recovery in manufacturing output in December is unlikely to save the UK industrial sector from recording a sizeable decline over the fourth quarter and acting as a drag on fourth quarter GDP," she added.