United Kingdom: Industrial production declines unexpectedly
April 6, 2011
In February, industrial output declined a seasonally adjusted 1.2% over the previous month. The drop contrasted the 0.3% increase observed in January (previously reported: +0.5% month-on-month) as well as market expectations, which had industrial production rising 0.4%. In annual terms, industrial production increased 2.4%, down from the 4.2% year-on-year increase tallied in January. February's decline was mainly the result of a drop in mining and quarrying sector, which swung from a 3.5% monthly increase in January to a 7.3% contraction in February, amid a 7.8% drop in oil and gas production. Furthermore, activity in the manufacturing sector eased, decelerating from a 0.9% increase in January to record a flat reading in February, which also undershot market expectations of a 0.6% increase. Despite the February's dismal reading, the trend continues to point upwards with the average growth in industrial production rising from 2.5% in January to 2.7% in February.