Britain’s industrial plight was laid bare today after official figures showed output at the end of 2015 fell quicker than at any given time over the last three years.
Industrial production contracted by 1.1pc in December from the previous month, the biggest monthly drop since September 2012 and much worse than the 0.1pc decrease expected by economists.
The Office for National Statistics, which compiled the data, said the decline was led by a 5.4pc drop in electricity and gasoline production, which was hit by the milder weather.
“Moving into 2016, there are no clear indicators that the rollercoaster of risks is likely to abate anytime soon.”
The oil and gas sector, which has struggled amid falling oil prices and high taxes, suffered a 4.6pc decline in output, compared with a month previously.
Industrial output is now estimated to have contracted by 0.5pc in the final quarter of last year, from a previous outlook of a 0.2pc drop.