British Manufacturing Output Improves In 2006

Best performance since 2004.

Manufacturing output, which accounts for about 15% of Britain's gross domestic product (GDP), advanced by 1.3% last year compared with 2005, the office for National Statistics said Feb. 8. This was the best performance since 2004 when there was a 2% increase.

Manufacturing output rose by 0.2% in December from the previous month and gained 2.3% compared with December 2005. A more detailed look at the sector shows there was a significant increase in output of food, drink and tobacco industries, but a noticeable decrease in the electrical and optical equipment industries.

The wider measure of industrial production, which also includes energy and mineral extraction, slid by 0.1% in 2006, compared with the previous year. Industrial production accounts for around 19% of GDP.

The main reason for the monthly decline is a sharp reversal in mining and quarrying output, primarily as a result of lower gas production due to new pipelines from Norway and Europe coming on stream

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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