‘It is clear that industry does not have the momentum required to offset the consumer-led slowdown in the services sector this year.’ – Samuel Tombs, Pantheon Macroeconomics
In February, British total production experienced a 0.7% decrease compared to the previous month, the Office for National Statistics reported on Friday. The revealed figures did not justify experts’ forecasts, as they expected to see a 0.3% increase. The decline was registered in all four major sectors. Nevertheless, the largest drop occurred in the electricity and gas industry, where downfall reached 3.4%. It was attributable to lower electricity generation and gas supply amid unusually high temperatures. Another major fall happened in the pharmaceutical, chemical products and crude petroleum industries, where growth plunged 4.4%, 2.1% and 2.6%, accordingly. In contrast, the largest gains were posted by the textiles and electrical equipment industries, where production increased 3.0% and 2.3%, respectively. However, it was not enough to offset the overall negative output of the manufacturing sector, which lost 0.1%, due to the erratic performance of pharmaceutical industry. Nevertheless, on a yearly basis, total production advanced 2.8% in February. Three out of four major sectors showed positive results. Yet, the largest contribution was made by the manufacturing sector, which posted a 3.3% increase, following a gain of 2.6% in the previous month.