British manufacturing continued its climb up the global rankings as growth returned last year, according to facts and figures published today by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and Santander.
Launching the 2017 manufacturing fact card, the new data shows that Britain is now the 8th largest industrial nation with an annual output now worth $249bn, up from 9th place last year.1
In the post-Brexit world, manufacturing will increasingly provide Britain’s link to the world, currently generating 44% of total UK exports. The sector is also vital for the nation’s future source of income, undertaking some 70% of total R&D by Britain’s businesses. Data around employment is equally impressive, with 2.6million people working within the manufacturing sector across the country.
The largest individual sector is food and drink (16%) while the chemicals and pharmaceuticals and transport sectors both account for 14% of output each. It is these two sectors which also head up the manufacturing innovation league table, with ONS figures revealing that pharmaceuticals accounts for 34.4% of UK innovation, and transport 33%.
As a sector, the manufacturing good news story continues into comparable pay rates, offering higher wages than other sectors with highly paid, highly skilled jobs. Average earnings have increased from £31,489 to £32,047, still sitting well above the take home totals from services (+£4,499) and some £3,748 more than the whole economy average pay.
Manufacturing is spread across the country – the North West remaining the biggest regional powerhouse, producing over £24bn output. Manufacturing also helps power the engine of the West Midlands (£17.5bn) and East Midlands (£15.9bn), with their strength across the aerospace and automotive sectors.
A reminder of the post-Brexit challenge is ever present as EU markets still dominate for exports, accounting for 48% of manufactured exports in 2017q2. The UK’s largest single export destination is the United States, followed by Germany and France.
Commenting, Lee Hopley, Chief Economist of EEF said:
“With government facing lots of major policy decisions on everything from our future trading relationship with Europe and the rest of the world to the detail of a long-term industrial strategy it is vital that they have the right industry facts at their fingertips. Our latest annual fact card reveals that manufacturing’s share of the economy remains stable at 10%, but the sector makes a much larger contribution to vital exports and innovation.
“With the focus on industrial strategy, this year we highlight the varying strengths we see across manufacturing sub-sectors, from the strong R&D performance of pharmaceuticals and transport to the high export intensity of machinery and chemicals.”
Commenting, Paul Brooks, Head of Manufacturing, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said:
“Manufacturing remains a key part of the UK economy and it is really encouraging to see that the UK is now the 8th largest manufacturer by output in the world, and that the majority of UK adults believe we should be aiming to be in the top five. With strong manufacturing figures reported from across the country, it is crucial that we continue to support manufacturers in all regions of the UK. Despite uncertainty around Brexit, manufacturers are seizing opportunities to increase their now more competitive exports, with the sector accounting for 44% of UK exports. With the top 10 export destinations featuring markets both within and outside of the EU, Santander is committed to helping manufacturers reach new markets.”
You can download the fact card here.
Notes to Editors
1 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) statistics
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is the representative voice of UK manufacturing, with offices in London, Brussels, every English region and Wales. This year we celebrate 120 years of backing Britain’s makers.
Collectively we represent 20,000 companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, across engineering, manufacturing, technology and the wider industrial sector. We directly represent over 5,000 businesses who are members of EEF. Everything we do – from providing essential business support and training to championing manufacturing industry in the UK and the EU – is designed to help British manufacturers compete, innovate and grow.
From HR and employment law, health and safety to environmental and productivity improvement, our advice, expertise and influence enables businesses to remain safe, compliant and future-focused.
More information at www.eef.org.uk
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. As at 30 June 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 847 branches (which includes 58 university branches) and 69 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 12,500 branches and 190,000 employees at the close of June 2016. In the first half of 2016, Santander made underlying profit of EUR 3,280 million.