British Manufacturing Output Drops Unexpectedly

Feb. 10, 2011
Output fell 0.1% in December

As the manufacturing sector was hit by wintry weather conditions, output fell in December the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Feb. 10. Output declined by 0.1% compared with activity in November. That was the first monthly fall since April and confounded market expectations for a 0.4% gain.

Output climbed by 4.4% in December compared with the level one year earlier.

The ONS added that industrial production, which includes mining and quarrying, as well as electricity, gas, and water supply, rose by 0.5% in December and rose by 3.6% year-on-year.

"At least the figures are not sufficiently weak on their own to prompt a downward revision to quarterly GDP growth in the fourth quarter," said Capital Economics analyst Samuel Tombs.

British gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.5% in the three months to December, or fourth quarter of 2010, which was the first drop in economic output since the third quarter of 2009.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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