Manufacturing output falls in October

Posted on 7 Dec 2015 by Fred Tongue

The latest Index of Production data shows that manufacturing output during October fell slightly by 0.4%.

The figure from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) was worse than expected for October, after September saw a 0.9% increase.

Manufacturing output was 0.1% lower compared to the same month a year ago.

On Monday, EEF published a survey which noted that the UK economy was suffering from the “gathering gloom” of the global economy, despite an estimated total output increase of 1.7% over the year, and three of the four sectors showing increases.

The EEF cut its manufacturing forecasts, expecting a 0.1% fall in output this year, with 0.8% growth in 2016.

The sector that saw the biggest output increase was water supply, sewerage & waste management, which increased by 1.7%.

Manufacturing output decreased by 0.4% in October 2015 compared with September 2015. The largest contribution to the decrease came from other manufacturing & repair, which decreased by 5.4%.

EEF’s deputy chief economist, Zach Witton commented:“Today’s data marks a disappointing start to the final quarter of the year, with the lingering impact from the crude oil price on investment in the North Sea dragging some sectors down.

“Looking forward, industry will remain under pressure from the low oil price and weak export demand flowing from slower growth in emerging markets.”

Following the Chancellor’s recent Spending Review, Witton added that the data highlights the critical need for the Government to continue to act to ensure the UK is “a competitive location for manufacturing”.

Chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, David Kern said: “The manufacturing sector is facing many headwinds driven by difficult global circumstances.

“Eurozone growth remains weak and there are serious problems in major economies such as China, Japan, Brazil and Russia.

“Although our economy is increasingly reliant on a vibrant services sector, manufacturing is still a vital sector for innovation, productivity and exports. It is important that manufacturing exporters, in particular, get the support they need as they face significant challenges.

“Additional efforts are needed on the part of the government to strengthen the manufacturing sector, particularly in key areas such as exports, access to finance and skills.”