Figures from the Office for National Statistics’ Index of Production show that manufacturing activity in UK factories increased by 0.2% in July.
While this growth is not as strong as that recoded in June, it has still been welcomed by commentators.
EEF’s chief economist Lee Hopley said: “While the expansion was not as strong as June’s, output levels are now at their highest for a year with gains spread across a number of sectors, including food, electronics and transport.”
Mike Rigby, head of manufacturing at Barclays bank agreed, commenting that the UK’s manufacturing recovery is “starting to look sustainable”.
A report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the warm weather in July was partly responsible for rise in productivity in sectors like food and drink which experienced increased domestic demand.
Growth in production for export markets slowed compared to June’s performance. Exports to the Eurozone remained stable however and Mr Rigby said this reflected the findings of recent research into investment intention among UK manufacturers in the upturn.
“Our latest research suggested any [growth] investment was likely to firstly be targeted on capital investment or expansion in established mature markets, ahead of any investment in new product development or entering the faster growing BRIC markets,” he observed.
ONS Index of Production figures are seasonally adjusted and based on input from approximately 6000 companies.