Manufacturing output strongest since 2011

Posted on 10 Jun 2014 by Victoria Fitzgerald

UK manufacturing continues to grow, with output rising 0.4% in April, according to a new study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the sector’s fifth consecutive rise and is aligned with the analyst estimates.

Industrial production growth in March has been revised upwards from -0.1% to growth of 0.1% and annual growth has reached its strongest level since 2011.

The ONS said the main drivers behind the surge in output were transport equipment, computer, electronic and optical products, and rubber, plastic and other non‐metallic mineral products.

HSBC analysts highlighted in a preview of the release that “any growth at all” in April would take UK manufacturing output to a new post-crisis high.

Growth in manufacturing output was unanimously predicted by economists, even with red flags being raised concerning outages in the Buzzard oil field, near Aberdeen.

Although the manufacturing sector has experienced strong growth, it has not reached its pre-crisis high. Societe Generale analysts say with so much ground to make up “strong business survey readings will continue to translate into higher output for some time to come.”

Analysts predict output will rise by 0.5% in May.

Senior economist at Market, Rob Dobson commented that the sector is basking “in one of its brightest growth spells of the past two decades.”