It is still too early to tell if Britons were stockpiling in December to prepare for the final Brexit date in January 2020.
Total industrial output dropped by 1.8% in December, against a -0.8% reading expected and the previous -1.6% print.
Of the other components of gross domestic product - the official growth measure - investment was dragged down in the fourth quarter by Brexit jitters while exports were affected by a slowing global economy and trade tensions between the USA and China.
Britain's service sector grew by merely 0.1 percent in the period (from October to December) and construction output grew 0.5 percent while production output fell 0.8 percent on a quarterly basis, said the ONS, adding that the fourth quarter witnessed an 1.1 percent increase year-on-year.
Official figures released on Tuesday showed zero growth in the fourth quarter compared with the third, matching the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
There was a slight rebound in December, as the economy grew 0.3% in the month of the elections, in which Christmas purchases were also made. That is slightly better than the 1.3% recorded in 2018 but still one of the slowest growth rates since the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. The ONS said a surge in exports of gold linked to precious metals dealing in London led to a rare trade surplus for Britain in December.
"The stagnation in GDP beat our forecast of a 0.1 percent quarter-on-quarter fall". Manufacturing output fell in the October-December period by the most since the third quarter of 2013, down 2.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier, reflecting vehicle plant shutdowns in November, when Britain faced the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
The news sent the pound up by 0.2 per cent against both the euro and the dollar. This was in line with expectations and an easing since strong growth in the middle of 2018.
Chancellor in the outgoing shadow of work, John McDonnell, said: & # 39; These are damning figures that show an economy going through a decade of decline.
The statistics agency added that growth has been "particularly volatile" throughout 2019, in part reflecting "changes in the timing of activity" related to the United Kingdom's (UK) delayed exit dates from the European Union (EU).
"More forward-looking data are more optimistic, and while outright optimism would be misplaced, upgrades to previous quarters are well received".
"The Tories lack any vision or plan for the economy, and the upcoming Budget risks another decade of disappointment".