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An Airbus fitter works on an A400M spoiler at the companys Bristol plant

British Industrial Output Rebounds on Manufacturing, Utilities

March 9, 2016
A day after German industrial production jumped 3.3%, British industry follows with a more modest 0.3% rise in December, highlighted by increases of 4.3% in utilities and 0.7% in manufacturing.

Industrial production in the United Kingdom posted a modest rebound in January as manufacturing and energy production jumped.

Output climbed 0.3% from December, when it declined 1.1%, the Office for National Statistics said in London on Wednesday. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.4%. Manufacturing rose 0.7% and utilities increased production by 4.3%. Oil and gas extraction fell 6.3%, the most since June 2014, as stormy weather affected North Sea facilities.

The figures may do little to dispel concerns about the outlook for the economy as a deteriorating global growth weighs on exporters, and the possibility of a British exit from the European Union rattles the dominant services sector, the main engine of expansion.

Purchasing-management surveys this month showed indexes of manufacturing and services falling to their lowest levels in almost three years in February. In the three months through January, industrial production fell 1.3%, the ONS said.

The pound was little changed following the report, trading at $1.4231 as of 9:35 a.m. London time, up 0.1% from Tuesday.

The monthly increase in manufacturing in January followed three months of declines and was led by a category that includes sporting goods, jewelry, and games and toys. Industrial output rose 0.2% from a year earlier and manufacturing was down 0.1%.

Total production, which accounts for just over 10% of the U.K. economy, fell 0.4% in the fourth quarter instead of the 0.5% previously reported. The revision will have no impact on overall growth, the ONS said.

By Scott Hamilton

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Licensed content from Bloomberg, copyright 2016.

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