London, United Kingdom (4E) – Latest data on UK industrial production and construction in November fuel concerns of a contracting UK economy in the final quarter of 2012.
Industrial production gained 0.3 per cent in November, which is a slower-than-expected pace considering a strong performance in the oil and gas sector after maintenance on Britain’s largest North Sea field has been completed.
In a separate report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released on Friday, the construction sector output, a component of the gross domestic product (GDP), contracted by 3.4 per cent in November. Preliminary GDP figures for the October to December quarter are scheduled to be announced on Jan. 25.
Manufacturing output, a component of the production index together with gas and electricity, mining and quarrying, and water and sewerage, contracted 0.3 per cent in November, slightly better than the 1.3 per cent slide in October, but way below forecasts for a 0.5 per cent increase.
Demand of manufactured goods in the country has suffered as a result of economic uncertainty, flat wage growth and the UK government’s austerity measures, while exports continue to remain weak amid the slowing euro zone economy.
GDP in the final three months of 2012 may have contracted, according to the Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility, the agency tasked to prepare the government’s economic forecast.