Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “ONS hasn’t quite rewritten history, but the accounting changes put the UK’s recent economic performance in a rather better light. Most notably we hit our pre-recession output peak sooner than first thought and the composition of growth has struck a better balance between investment and consumption with a bigger bounce in business investment since the end of the recession.
“Manufacturing has been a strong contributor to these recent trends. Output growth in the first half of 2014 was more robust than previous estimates leaving the climb back to pre-recession levels less challenging that we thought just a few months ago. New data on investment trends across the sector also point to manufacturers’ investment plans coming back on stream at a fairly rapid pace with growth continuing through 2014 so far. This seems more in line with survey evidence on firms’ intentions to invest.
“While the strengthening data should be encouraging for policy makers, it still leaves some tricky questions about pay, productivity and public finances on the table.”