Britain's industrial production fell by more than expected in December, largely due to the impact of the closure of the Forties oil pipeline, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday.
Industrial output fell 1.3% in the final month of 2017, after a monthly rise of 0.3% in November and was worse than forecasts of a 0.9% fall.
The annualised rate of output from all industrial sectors in December flatlined after a robust annual rate of 2.6% growth in November. Analysts had expected a rate of 0.3% in December.
Mining and quarrying - which includes oil production - was the biggest contributor to the fall, down 4.7%, caused mainly by the shut-down of the Forties oil pipeline for a large part of December, the ONS said.
"We would strongly caution about reading too much into these figures," said Paul Hollingsworth at Capital Economics.
"Overall production was distorted by the closure of the Forties pipeline, with oil and gas extraction the only sector to see decline."
Construction was also weaker, reflecting steep downturns in commercial building and civil engineering projects. Output rose 0.4% in November, but fell 2% on a three month basis - the largest such decline since 2012.
British industry was supported strongly by the manufacturing sector, however, as output rose by a monthly 0.3%, up from 0.2% in November, and matching analysts' expectations.
Year-on-year, manufacturing production rose by a robust 1.4%, down from the 3.8% seen in November, but beating forecasts of a drop to 1.2%.
Within the manufacturing sector, nine of the 13 sub-sectors experienced growth, with the largest contribution coming from a 5.7% increase in basic metals and metals products.
“The official data are in line with survey data which have likewise shown an export-led recovery in manufacturing in recent months while a beleaguered construction sector has become reliant on house building," said Chris Williamson at IHS Markit.
He added: "It seems likely that the UK will continue to muster steady - but by no means impressive - growth over the course of 2018. IHS Markit’s forecast is for the economy to grow a mere 1.2% this year."
There was little support for sterling or for stocks as investors headed for dollar havens in the wake of a large equity market sell off on Thursday and Friday.
The pound was a little lower against both the dollar and the euro. The FTSE 100 index was about 0.1% lower in mid-morning trade.