Manufacturing output flat

Posted on 8 Dec 2009 by The Manufacturer

Manufacturing output fell flat between September and October, according to official figures released by the Office for National Statistics today.

This follows modest growth of 1.7 per cent between August and September.

October’s output was 7.8 per cent lower than the same month last year.

Between September and October, four subsectors saw output rise while nine saw it decline. The largest increases in output were 5.6 per cent in the machinery and equipment industries and 2.6 per cent in the chemicals and man-made fibres industries. The biggest decreases were 2.7 per cent in the electrical and optical equipment industries and 1.4 per cent in the paper, printing and publishing industries.

Total production output in October, including mining and quarrying, oil and gas, and ebergy supply, was 8.4 per cent lower year-on-year and also flat for the month.
Graeme Allinson, head of manufacturing, transport and logistics at Barclays, described the figures as “something of a disappointment” and show manufacturing is “still not far removed from the bottom of the recessionary curve as domestic demand in particular remains depressed.”

The lack of effect that the weak value of sterling has had on exports orders continues to surprise analysts, he added.

However, “While this demonstrates manufacturing is at present struggling to generate momentum, we still view the sector as one with great potential for growth coming out of the downturn,” he said. “Barclays will be looking closely at lending opportunities in the sector in 2010, particularly as discussions with our customers indicate many are seeing increased openings for investment or expansion, which will require bank support.”

Sub-sector output growth:

  • textiles, leather and clothing +1.5%
  • electrical and optical equipment +0.8%
  • transport equipment (DM) +1.6%
  • other manufacturing (DN) +3.7%

Sub-sector output declines:

  • food, drink and tobacco -1.2%
  • coke, ref petrol and nuclear fuels -3.0%
  • chemicals and man-made fibres -0.5%
  • basic metals and metal products -0.1%
  • machinery and equipment -1.5%
  • wood and wood products -4.3%
  • pulp, paper, printing and publishing -2.8%
  • rubber and plastic products -1.1%