Not all manufacturing sectors export to the same degree | EEF

Not all manufacturing sectors export to the same degree

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As a sector we know that manufacturing is export intensive.

UK manufacturers account for a disproportionate share of exports compared with their output share of the economy and the pursuit of new export opportunities is consistently among the top three business priorities for growth.

Better balanced growth hinges on the UK turning around the long-standing drag on UK GDP growth from net trade. The recent improvement in the external environment and the weaker exchange rate are providing support for exporters, but manufacturers continue to find it challenging to enter new export markets.

The industrial strategy plays an important role in seeking further ways in which government can use its international networks to support the promotion of UK exporters overseas and attract new investment into the UK to plug gaps in supply networks.

Manufacturing is diverse

As Martyn noted back in March, different sectors have different profiles for what happens to their goods after they make them. And we can see below that not all manufacturing sectors export to the same degree. Whilst the motor vehicles sector accounts for largest value of exports at £34.9bn, it is not the most export intensive sector – that honour goes to the other transport sector (which includes aerospace) with nearly 48% of output exported.


It’s important to understand not just the overall picture on what’s happening in manufacturing but also how the sub-sectors can affect the prospects of the sector. We monitor and discuss sector performance each quarter in our Manufacturing Outlook report.


If you are a manufacturer then help us to tell the full picture on UK manufacturing by taking part in our research programmes – evidence helps us campaign successfully for our sector, join our survey panel by emailing


Senior Policy Researcher

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