Fear rises over UK's industrial gloom

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The Independent Online

A shock blow for Britain's industrial sector in January put the risk of a double-dip recession back on the table yesterday, strengthening the case for more money printing by the Bank of England.

Official figures showed a 0.4 per cent drop in industrial output during January, while manufacturing slowed to a crawl. A fall in oil and gas extraction did the damage as manufacturers managed growth of just 0.1 per cent.

Soaring oil prices pushed up industry costs in February, while construction output fell 12.3 per cent in January, raising doubts over whether the building industry will return to growth this quarter.

The raft of disappointing figures is a blow to hopes of recovery,reviving fears of a double dip.