By Maximilian Clarke

The index of UK industrial production has fallen by 1.7% as gains in the manufacturing sector failed to offset a 11.5% drop in mining and quarrying.

The drop marks the 8th consecutive monthly fall for combined UK production indices, though the latest month’s figure was further depressed by record autumn temperatures leading to lessened demand for electricity and gas.

Crucially, the manufacturing sector- touted by the Coalition Government as the key to UK growth- increased still further, with robust machine equipment manufacture more than offsetting drops across 8 out of 13 industrial sectors.

The mining and quarrying sector, which includes oil extraction, has been negatively affected by Chancellor Osborne’s £1bn tax grab- which led to Centrica closing its Morcambe Bay gas field, though with 13 consecutive months of decline, problems in the sector were apparent before March 2011.


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