UK factories are facing a tough December in 2023, with new data showing a significant weakness in the sector.

According to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), factory output in the UK fell by 0.8% in December 2023, the largest monthly decline in over three years.

This follows a period of sluggish growth in the manufacturing sector, with output in the sector increasing by just 0.1% in the three months to December.

The ONS data also revealed that manufacturing production fell by 0.4% in December, the largest monthly decline since June 2020.

This decline was driven by a sharp drop in the production of intermediate goods, such as components and raw materials, which fell by 1.6%. Meanwhile, the production of capital goods, including machinery and equipment, fell by 0.6%.