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British industrial output saw a 1.1% increase in December

Press Release   •   Feb 07, 2013 11:24 GMT

British industrial output, which includes energy production and mining, rose more than expected in December, although oil field shutdowns drove the biggest quarterly fall since early 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The rise of 1.1% - which includes figures for energy production and mining - was higher than many economists' predictions of a 0.9% rise.

Within that, manufacturing output climbed 1.6% on the month in December after a fall of 0.3% in November.

Industrial production was 1.9% lower in the fourth quarter of 2012 than in the previous three months, the biggest fall since the first quarter of 2009.

That was a slightly bigger decline than originally shown in the GDP figures, although the ONS said the latest number would have a negligible impact on its first GDP estimate.

In the last quarter of 2012, lower factory output was a key reason for a contraction in Britain's economy that brought it within sight of its third recession in four years.

There have been some tentative signs of an economic recovery at the start of this year, while policymakers also increasingly doubt the ability of more quantitative easing to lift demand.

The goods trade deficit shrank to 8.897 billion pounds from 9.275 billion pounds in November.

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