UK industrial output down in December, all of 2006

UK industrial output down in December, all of 2006

Industrial output in the UK was lower in December according to new figures released Wednesday by the Office of National Statistics. Manufacturing, however, was up in the month. Full-year data shows that the month followed the pattern of the year as a whole.

Industrial production was 0.1 percent lower in December after it had risen by 0.4 percent in November. Much of the decline was felt in the mining and quarrying sector, including oil and gas extraction, which was down by 4. 1 percent due to the montha��s mild weather. The sector dropped by 3.7 percent in the month. Manufacturing was up 0.2 percent in the last month of the year, helped out by a production gain of 1.2 percent among food, drink, and tobacco makers.

In the year as a whole, production dropped by 0.1 percent and manufacturing grew by 1.3 percent. Utilities were down by 2.7 percent, while output in the mining and quarrying sector dropped by 9.1 percent.

The ONS said, however, that the new figures did not impact the growth of the gross domestic product in the fourth quarter, which grew at the rate of 0.8 percent. Additionally, the data will not likely have a great influence on the Bank of Englanda��s next decision on interest rates, scheduled to be issued later in the week. The Bank is expected my most analysts to keep rates at 5.25 percent for another month, but many expect another hike to come next month or the month after.

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