Manufacturing growth figures lower than expected

Monday 14 January 2013

Manufacturing output rose in March

Manufacturing output figure for November 2012 are disappointing, according to one industry expert.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, noted that output was down by 0.3 per cent in the UK, and 2.1 per cent on the year.

He said that the majority of commentators had predicted an increase, based upon reported levels of activity among manufacturers.

Total industrial production was up by 0.3 per cent in November 2012, but Mr Kern said this rise was "weaker than expected".

“Manufacturing remains a significant sector of the UK economy, and has coped remarkably well with the challenges facing it in recent years," he noted.

"Whilst weak growth in world trade will limit the scope for a significant expansion in manufacturing exports, the sector remains competitive and well-managed, and has the potential to recover."

Mr Kern claimed that many manufacturing firms have been able to maintain their skill bases in the recession, and are now adjusting to a more difficult economic environment of low growth.

"But British businesses have the will and ability to make progress, if given the right backing," he stated.

As such, the government must do more to provide firms with the confidence to drive a sustainable recovery.

Posted by Dan Smith