Georgios Nikolaidis, Senior Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: “Today’s IoP wraps up the data for what was a challenging year for UK manufacturing. The figures show that manufacturing output contracted marginally by 0.2% over 2015 as a whole. Last year saw the manifestation of a number of global headwinds, with subdued activity from the North Sea, the slowdown in emerging markets and continued lacklustre growth in the Eurozone providing limited support to the sector.
“Moving into 2016, there are no clear indications that the rollercoaster of risks is likely to abate anytime soon, although we do expect the sector to return to growth. But, manufacturers are not sitting on their hands nor are all sub-sectors experiencing the same conditions. Manufacturers look intent to continue investing in teasing out those productivity gains, as well as cracking on with their innovation plans to create new demand.
“In terms of sub-sectors, variation is set to persist with the transport and chemicals sectors continuing to grow strongly, while the mechanical equipment and metals sectors are likely to continue to struggle in a testing global market.”