Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

No growth in UK industrial output

Vauxhall cars
UK industrial production has fallen for 18 months on an annualised basis

Industrial output in the UK showed no growth in October, disappointing analyst forecasts for an increase.

Both industrial and manufacturing figures showed no change from September, the official figures showed.

"Things are getting better but very slowly," said Ross Walker from RBS, who added that the recovery was "lagging".

After the 0.9% fall in industrial output in the third quarter, a return to growth is now expected for the October to December period as a whole.

'Sluggish'

Of the 13 sections measured within manufacturing - which pulls out the energy production figures also included in the industrial output numbers - four saw output rise while the other nine saw falls.

We will probably still get some growth from industrial production in the fourth quarter but it's not going to be spectacular
Ross Walker, RBS

The electrical and optical equipment subsector showed the biggest decline with a fall of 2.7%, said the Office for National Statistics.

Compared with October 2008, industrial output during the month was down 8.4%, while manufacturing slipped 7.8%.

On this annual basis, industrial production has now fallen for 18 consecutive months, the longest run of declines in almost 20 years.

"We will probably still get some growth from industrial production in the fourth quarter but it's not going to be spectacular," added Mr Walker, UK economist at RBS.

"Whilst it [industrial production] keeps us on track... there's not much to suggest it's going to be a vibrant rebound. It's sluggish."

'Bumping along'

A separate survey from the CBI business group showed that 25% of manufacturers polled expect output to fall over the next three months.

Only 18% expect production to step up.

"This highlights the fragility of the recovery and the likelihood that economic activity will continue to bump along the bottom early next year" said the CBI's economic adviser Ian McCafferty.



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