Latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that production output fell 1.5 percent between August 2012 and August 2013.

The largest component of production, manufacturing, fell by 0.2 percent over the year with mining & quarrying falling by 10.1 percent and the electricity, gas, steam & air sector falling by 3.5 percent (all figures seasonally adjusted).

The main manufacturing components contributing to the decrease between August 2012 and August 2013 says the ONS were the manufacture of machinery & equipment not elsewhere classified; the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products & pharmaceutical preparations; and the manufacture of basic metals & metal products. Over the same period the main upward contribution came from the manufacture of transport equipment, which rose by 12.5%, the majority of this strength came from the manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers & semi trailers.

Total production fell between July 2013 and August 2013 by 1.1 percent with downward pressure being exerted from all four main sectors.

From the following graph it can be seen that the trend in both manufacturing and production has been down since the start of 2011. (Click on graph to enlarge it.)

Indices of Manufacturing and Production to Q2 2013

Click on graph to enlarge

Commenting on the figures Sasha Nugent of caxton FX said: "Manufacturing production figures were certainly a surprise and more evidence is building that the journey to stabilizing the economy is going to be a bumpy one. Investors that profit took last week anticipated the movement well. The Bank of England will breathe a little more easily as their dovish stance is looking more justified, especially ahead of the base rate announcement tomorrow."

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