The Office of National Statistics has released new data that shows UK manufacturing may be turning a corner after years of poor results since the credit crunch.
Between November 2012 and December 2012 both indexes for production and manufacturing increased by 1.1% and 1.6% respectively. The rise in manufacturing came from machinery manufacture which rose by 8.0%, followed by the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, which rose by 5.6%. Food products, beverages and tobacco, also rose by 1.5%.
The figures were helped by demand from countries outside of the European Union, with exports surging 11.7 percent. Exports to other EU countries fell 4.8 percent however due to uncertainty about the continuing euro crisis.
The light at the end of the tunnel follows some terrible results for 2012 as a whole.
Production fell by 1.9% and manufacturing by 1.3% between the third and fourth quarter of 2012. In both cases this is the largest quarter on quarter fall since the first quarter of 2009.
The sectors whose production was worst hit were the mining and quarrying sector which fell by 11% and the manufacturing sector which contracted by 1.3%. Manufacturing contracted most in the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products, which fell by 3.6% and the manufacture of basic metal products, which fell by 2.7%.
The index of production also fell by 1.7% when comparing December 2012 with December 2011. This is the 21st consecutive fall, when comparing production from the same month of the year before.
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