U.K. industrial production unexpectedly fell in June as North Sea producers cut output for the first time in four months.
Total production fell 0.4 percent from May, when it rose a downwardly revised 0.3 percent, the Office for National Statistics said in London on Thursday. An increase of 0.1 percent was expected by economists in a Bloomberg survey. Factory output increased a larger-than-forecast 0.2 percent.
The figures come as the Bank of England prepares to release its latest interest-rate decision together with quarterly forecasts. While some policy makers are expected to push for an increase in borrowing costs to counter growing wage pressures, recent surveys suggest the economy lost some momentum at the start of the third quarter.
Purchasing managers indexes published this week showed manufacturing remains “near stagnant‘‘ while services slipped slightly last month. The economy grew at a 0.6 percent quarterly rate in July, compared with 0.7 percent growth in the second quarter, according to Markit Economics.
The pound was trading at $1.5623 as of 10:45 a.m. London time, up 0.1 percent on the day.
In the second quarter, industrial output rose 0.7 percent instead of the 1 percent estimated in gross domestic product data last month. The revision had a negligible impact of less than 0.1 percentage point on GDP for the period. Manufacturing declined an unrevised 0.3 percent.
In June, the fall in industrial output was driven by a 5.8 percent drop in oil and gas production, the biggest decline since January last year. It followed three months of gains and was partly due to maintenance that halved production at the Sullom Voe oil field.
Manufacturing rose in seven out of 13 sub sectors, with basic metals and metal products making the biggest contribution. This was largely due to a 31 percent increase in production of weapons and ammunition.