November 2001 manufacturing data published today by the Office for National Statistics paints a gloomy picture for UK industry.
The output of production industries in the latest three months fell by 2.0% compared with the previous three months, and, in the same period, there was a decrease of 1.9% in manufacturing output.
Oil and gas extraction output fell by 6.9% and was 3.3% lower than in the same period a year ago. Coal production, on the other hand, was 5.4% higher and was 4.4% higher than in the same period a year ago.
Manufacturing output in the latest three months fell by 1.9% compared with the previous three months. There were significant decreases in output of 7.1% in the electrical and optical equipment industries, 3.3 % in the basic metals and metal products industries and 2.5% in the machinery and equipment industries.
Between October and November, manufacturing output fell by 0.7%. The largest falls in output were in the transport equipment industries (1.4%) and the basic metals and metal products industries (1.5%). The main reason for the decrease in output in the transport equipment industries was due to the continuing fall in motor vehicle output from the high level reached in August.
Output of the electricity, gas and water supply industries in the latest three months rose by 0.1% compared with the previous three months. Between October and November, output rose by 3.1% due largely to a return to temperatures closer to normal following very high temperatures in October.