By Marcus Leach

British industry returned a disappointing output in September as the sector declined by 1.7%, according to official data.

Despite the economy returning to overall growth there is a continued weakness at present, as the Office for National Statistics data revealed.

Maintenance on North Sea oil platforms led to a 15.3% collapse in mining and quarrying output in the month, contributing to the sharp fall in overall production. Whilst manufacturing, which the government sees as key to reviving the economy, eked out a gain of just 0.1% on the month.

"A modest uptick in output in September points to some growth still out there for manufacturers, despite some of the weaker survey data recently," Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said.

"While concerns around the global outlook are set to dominate through the remainder of this year, there are a number of sectors across manufacturing — pharmaceuticals, transports and electrical equipment - that are continuing to post month on month growth despite the more challenging backdrop.

"However, a clear vision from government at the Autumn Statement about the priorities for our economy and plan to ensure growth stays on track is imperative."

Key points

- The seasonally adjusted Index of Production fell by 2.6 per cent in September 2012 compared with September 2011

- The seasonally adjusted Index of Manufacturing fell by 1.0 per cent in September 2012 compared with September 2011

- Production fell by 1.7 per cent between August 2012 and September 2012, with mining & quarrying falling by 15.3 per cent, and a rise of 0.1 per cent in manufacturing

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