Index of production data out this morning provided some good news about the manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing Output was up 1.0% in February, this was the third consecutive month of growth. Following growth of 0.3% in January, even if output is flat in March, the sector should now grow 1.1% in the first quarter of this year.
Output rose in seven of the thirteen manufacturing sectors. This month the key contributions to growth rate came from pharmaceuticals, transport equipment (with motor vehicles in the driving seat this month…) and the manufacture of food, beverages & tobacco.The largest downward contribution to the month on month manufacturing growth came from the manufacture of chemicals & chemical products.
Despite the good news, there is some way to go before pre-recession levels of output are reached, with output remaining 8.2% below its previous peak.