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UK production flat in November

Total UK production was unchanged in the month to November 2013, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The data revises down its earlier forecasts for the manufacturing and construction sectors, hinting that the economic recovery is not yet secure.

Key findings from the latest ONS Index of Production:

  • Total production remained unchanged in between October and November 2013 but was up 2.5 per cent on the year
  • Manufacturing output was unchanged between October and November 2013 but was up 2.8 per cent on the year
  • Construction output was down four per cent between October and November 2013 but was up 2.2 per cent on the year.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, warned that the ONS data is a reality check about the state of the economy:

"Although longer-term comparisons show solid annual growth, these monthly figures are disappointing. It is a timely reminder that the recovery is not yet secure, and should also dampen the clamour for an early rise in interest rates. The government must continue to implement measures to boost growth, to ensure that the UK economy is on firmer ground before any such step is introduced."

Stephen Gifford, director for economics at the CBI, was more optimistic about the findings:

"Although these figures are disappointing, they only reflect one month's performance and there is a growing sense among firms that the recovery is taking hold.

"Jobs are now being created fairly consistently across the country and, for the first time since the start of the recession, most firms intend to increase their workforce.

"However, as growth picks up, getting more firms investing and exporting is crucial to ensuring a well-balanced, broad-based and sustainable recovery."