British industry was already doing terribly -- and it is getting even worse

Industrial output in the UK fell by 1.3% in the month of October making an already troubling picture for the sector even more bleak in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union, according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics on Wednesday.

That was compared to the forecasts of economists, who predicted a small expansion of 0.2%. On a year-to-year basis, industrial production contracted by 1.1%, against a forecast of 0.5% growth.

“In October 2016, total production is estimated to have decreased by 1.3% compared with September 2016. Mining and quarrying provided the largest downward pressure, due to ongoing maintenance reducing production in the oil and gas extraction industry,” an ONS data release said.

You can see the long term trend of the ONS’ index of production, below:

During the month of October (the ONS releases data on a one-month delay) manufacturing production slipped by 0.9%, against forecast growth of 0.5%, while on a yearly basis the sector shrunk by 0.4%, compared to an estimate of 0.8% growth.

While the figures look pretty bleak for British producers, the ONS does warn that the figures are only one month’s worth of data, so should not be over-interpreted, saying: “You should note that we always warn against overly interpreting 1 month’s figures.”

The pound slipped a little on the release. Prior to the data coming out at 9.30 a.m. GMT, sterling was around 0.4% lower, but 15 minutes after, it is off by roughly 0.6%, as the chart below illustrates:

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