(RTTNews.com) - Underpinned by transport equipment and food industries, British manufacturing output expanded more-than-expected in December, logging the biggest growth since May. Output figures suggest that the economy remains on the track to recovery. Manufacturing output grew 1 percent, rebounding from November's 0.1 percent fall, data from the Office for National Statistics showed Thursday. The increase exceeded the 0.2 percent rise forecast by economists. As manufacturing output has increased after easing for straight few months, question remains as to whether the sector can sustain its improved performance around the turn of the year, said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight. Industrial production grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in December, offsetting last month's 0.5 percent decrease. Economists had expected only 0.2 percent growth. The largest contributors to the month-on-month increase in manufacturing output were the production of transport equipment industries, followed by the manufacture of food, beverages and tobacco industries. Manufacturing output recovered in December, rising 0.8 percent, after falling 1 percent in November and 0.3 percent in October. Moreover, the annual growth far exceeded the 0.3 percent rise forecast by economists. Year-on-year, industrial production declined 3.3 percent from a year ago, following November's 3.6 percent drop. Production marked a decline for the tenth month in a row. The decrease was slightly larger than an expected 3.1 percent drop. In the fourth quarter, industrial production fell 1.4 percent from the prior quarter, posting the largest fall since the first quarter of 2009. At the same time, manufacturing output dipped 0.8 percent and the energy sector output fell 5.1 percent. In 2011 as a whole, overall production was down 1.3 percent compared with 2010. The mining and quarrying output plunged 15.5 percent, the largest annual fall since 1974. Energy output decreased 5.7 percent. Meanwhile, manufacturing output increased by 2.1 percent. The latest Industrial Trends survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry showed a deterioration in confidence during three months ended January due to falling demand and stagnating output. According to the Purchasing Managers' survey, U.K. manufacturing sector showed signs of stabilization at the end of 2011 after notable declines in both November and October. More information: Jenrick Engineering is a recruitment partner for many of the leading Engineering Corporations within the UK, providing an array of contract and permanent job opportunities for engineers who operate within this sector. If you would like to  explore job opportunities in this sector, or wish to seek advice regarding recruiting contractors or permanent staff, please contact our offices at Burton on Trent (on 01283 548 121) or Crick, Northampton (on 01788 824555). Source: nasdaq.com