Official figures show UK manufacturing output grew by 6.8 per cent in January compared with the same month a year earlier – the biggest annual rise in 16 years.
The best performing subscetors were the electrical and optical equipment industries which increased by 14.6%, the transport equipment industries which increased by 12% and the machinery and equipment industries which increased by 12.7%.
Only the chemical and man-made fibres industries fell over the year.
On a monthly basis, the industry grew by 1% Between December and January – the biggest monthly rise in 10 months.
Graeme Allinson, Head of Manufacturing, Barclays Corporate said the figures attest to a “strong and sustainable” recovery – something he also has found evidence for from his day-today dealings with companies. However, he warned that companies are still keeping the purse strings tight.
“The number of businesses that fail during an economic recovery is often higher than in the recession preceding it, but the manufacturing companies we bank continue to outperform businesses generally, with little need for restructuring and very few insolvencies,” he said.
“It remains somewhat disappointing that we are still seeing little in the way of major capex or M&A activity amongst Britain’s manufacturing sector this year. While a few manufacturers are investing some of the cash they have accumulated over the past 18 months, there is still very little in the way of international acquisitions, new plant openings or private equity activity that we would expect to follow the wave of positive sentiment seen in the industry over the past year.”
The manufacturing output figures are provided by the Office for National Statistics.