UK manufacturing output rises by 0.2%

Posted on 8 Nov 2011 by The Manufacturer

UK manufacturing production rose for the first time in four months in September, led by transport equipment and metals, new figures have revealed.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released new information today showing that factory output increased 0.2%, slightly more than experts predicted. In the previous month, it fell 0.3%.

According to the ONS, out of 13 manufacturing categories six rose, five fell and two remained the same. The gain was led by the transport equipment industry, basic metals production, and the machinery and equipment sector.

Chief economist at EEF, Lee Hopley said: “While manufacturing activity continues to jump around, we have now seen eight consecutive quarters of growth. It is noticeable that the performance of individual sectors is beginning to diverge, with pockets of strength across the sector such as mechanical equipment and transport standing out in recent months.”

In the three months through to September, industrial production rose 0.4% compared with the previous quarter, while manufacturing rose 0.2% in the same period. Industrial production includes mining and quarrying, as well as the electricity, gas and water supply sectors.

The ONS claimed that the rise in production is not enough to have any meaningful impact on gross domestic product, which still shows quarterly growth of 0.5% for the latest quarter.

Ms Hopley added: “However, with the turbulence in external markets showing no signs of abating we are likely to see continued uncertainty about the growth outlook in the months to come. Whilst government cannot affect the external outlook it must pull every lever at its disposal in the autumn statement to help companies invest and get its growth agenda back on track.”