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Factory output ends year in the slow lane

UK manufacturers saw worse than expected growth in production and new orders for the final month of 2014. The purchasing managers' index from Markit was down to 52.5 for December from 53.3 in October and November. Economists had expected a rise in the index to 53.7. Markit's poll found that domestic orders continued to drive growth, while exports were stagnant in December after two months of declining sales. The sector still performed well over 2014 as a whole, with growth averaging its highest since 2010. The eurozone, the biggest market for UK exports, also endured a sluggish end to the year with a manufacturing PMI score of 50.6.

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