By Daniel Hunter

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed disappointing figures on industrial production and construction in November today (Friday).

The new data has added to fears that the UK economy contracted in the last quarter of 2012.

Industrial production grew 0.3% in November, compared with October, but had been expected to grow more as some North Sea oil and gas resumed production following maintenance.

Construction sector output contracted 3.4% in the month. Both figures are components of gross domestic product (GDP).

Preliminary figures for the final three months of 2012 are due to be released on Friday 25 January.

“These figures underline what was a challenging second half for UK manufacturing last year," Mike Rigby, Head of Manufacturing at Barclays said.

"With austerity and inflation going nowhere, the outlook for manufacturers is subdued. However there may be some respite with encouraging economic signs from abroad, particularly if recent reports that the eurozone woes may be bottoming out are correct.”

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