Manufacturing marches on

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Manufacturing output from UK factories continued to grow, albeit at a reduced pace, over the Summer.

The latest data for August showed a 0.1% month on month increase pushing production levels 4% higher than the same point a year ago. All of the main business surveys for activity - including EEF's Business Trends survey - seem to be on the same page - the wheels of industry are still turning but not as fast as earlier in the year.

Up, Up on a year ago, 3mma
Source: National Statistics


Moreover, UK manufacturers are bucking the declining trends seen in Europe in recent months. In addition the drop in activity reported by PMIs in the key Eurozone economies over the Summer, the latest official data on German industrial production noted a bigger than expected 4% drop in monthly output in August.

Tale of two sectors
% change three months on three months
Source: National Statistics



Gains in manufacturing over the past three months hide a growing divergence in performance across different sub-sectors. More domestically oriented sectors such as food & drink and rubber & plastics, together with the hardy transport sectors remain amongst the most consistently positive parts of UK industry.

Nevertheless, if we look at manufacturing and sub-sector trends so far this year growth in most instances looks set to come in stronger in 2014 than was the case last year.


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