Activity in the UK’s industrial and construction sectors slowed in January, new figures show.
The Office for National Statistics said industrial output contracted by 0.4% compared with December, when it fell by 0.9%.
Manufacturing was responsible for the decline, particularly the “highly erratic” pharmaceuticals sector, where output tumbled by 13.5%.
Construction fell by 0.4% in January, down from previous growth of 1.8%.
Meanwhile the UK’s deficit in goods and services remained at £2bn in January, the same as in December.
Exports rose by £400m, while imports increased by £300 million.
Within the industrial sector, manufacturing fell by 0.9% between December and January.
Over the three month to January, however, growth was stronger. Industrial output rose by 1.9% after manufacturing expanded at 2.1% – the fastest pace since May 2010.
Construction also expanded by 1.8% for the three months to January.
The UK’s trade gap shrank by £4.7bn to £6.4bn on rising exports of oil, machinery and transport equipment.
Kate Davies, senior statistician at the ONS, said: “Taking the last three months together, construction and manufacturing both grew strongly, with considerable narrowing in Britain’s trade deficit.”
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