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UK industrial production up 0.1% in March; construction output falls

U.K. industrial production rose 0.1% month over month in March, the same rate of increase as in February, the Office for National Statistics said.

Energy supply rose by 2.6% from the prior month due to cold winter weather, while mining and quarrying decreased by 2.4%. Manufacturing production fell for the second straight month, declining by 0.1% in March from February.

Production increased by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2018 from the previous quarter, a downward revision from the previous estimate of 0.7%, and was up 2.0% from the first quarter of last year.

Total manufacturing output edged up by 0.2% in the first quarter from the previous quarter and was up 2.5% from the year-ago quarter.

"Manufacturing was broadly flat throughout the first quarter following several months of strong growth, with no evidence that the bad weather hampered U.K. factories as both domestic and international sales stalled," said Rob Kent-Smith, head of national accounts.

Construction output contracted by 2.3% in March from the previous month after a downwardly revised 1.0% decrease in February. The month-over-month decrease in January was revised to 2.6% from 3.1%.

Construction output declined to its lowest level since August 2012 in the first quarter, falling by 2.7% from the previous quarter due to decreases in repair and maintenance and new work.

"The whole construction sector performed poorly in the first quarter with housing, repair work and public works seeing particularly large falls," Kent-Smith said.