UK industrial production rebounded in January on oil and gas extraction, while construction output contracted notably, official data showed Friday.
Industrial output grew 1.3 percent month-on-month in January, offsetting December’s 1.3 percent decrease, the Office for National Statistics reported.
A similar faster growth was last seen in December 2016. Output was forecast to grow 1.5 percent in January.
Meanwhile, growth in manufacturing output eased to 0.1 percent from 0.3 percent in December. The rate was also weaker than the expected 0.2 percent.
Mining and quarrying logged a double-digit growth of 23.5 percent as oil and gas extraction surged 32.3 percent, following a sharp decrease of 24.2 percent in December.
Looking ahead, it will be difficult to get a clear reading from the output data for the first quarter growth over the next few months, given the likely distortions from the severe weather at the end of February, Paul Hollingsworth, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
Nonetheless, survey measures broadly suggest the economy should maintain fourth quarter’s pace, the economist added.
Year-on-year, industrial output advanced 1.6 percent after staying flat in December, data showed. At the same time, manufacturing grew at a faster pace of 2.7 percent, following the prior month’s 1.4 percent increase.
In a separate communique, the ONS said construction output logged its biggest annual decline since March 2013. Output was down 3.9 percent in January.
On a monthly basis, construction output contracted 3.4 percent in January after rising in the previous two months.
Another report from the ONS showed that the visible trade deficit widened in January as the pace of growth in imports exceeded exports growth.
The visible trade gap widened to GBP 12.32 billion in January from GBP 11.77 billion in the previous month. The shortfall was seen at GBP 11.9 billion.
Exports rose 3.1 percent month-on-month and imports climbed 3.5 percent in January.
The trade in goods and services showed a shortfall of GBP 3.07 billion compared to a deficit of GBP 2.49 billion in December.