Tuesday, September 09, 2008

UK manufacturing shrinking faster than expected

Further bad news on manufacturing, with the most recent figure being published:-

Britain's manufacturing sector is shrinking faster than expected, fuelling further fears of a sharp decline for the British economy.

The Office for National Statistics reported that manufacturing output fell for the fifth consecutive month.

Between June and July output fell 0.2pc and was 1.4pc lower on the year as the production of electrical and optical equipment tumbled during the period.

Analysts had predicted a 0.1pc fall for the month.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight, said: "Manufacturers are now being hit hard by muted domestic demand, weakening activity in key export markets, elevated energy and commodity prices, and tight credit conditions.

"While the significantly weaker pound is providing a much-needed boost to UK manufacturers, this is being countered by significantly slowing growth in the Eurozone and a stagnant US economy."

The ONS said that in the three months to July there were significant decreases in output of food, drink and tobacco industries.

The gloomy figures follow earlier reports of further falls in retail sales and house prices, adding weight to the view that the UK looks set to fall into a recession within months.

Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, said: "Once again it's grim news for manufacturing. Overall, it would tend to support our call that the economy will be in recession by the end of the year."

By Emma Thelwell at the Telegraph.co.uk


These gloomy figures come against a backdrop of the Governments new initiative on manufacturing. I have seen few headlines on this and mentions of £150 million, a few extra apprenticeships and a "green agenda" hardly suggest that this is going to bring about a revolution in British Industry. Maybe removing a little of the "red tape", and indirect punitive taxation may have done more.

British manufacturing has survived despite Government, and not due to their support. Oh apparently  Jaguar/Rover have expressed their support for this initiative..... oh they are not a UK company, I forgot!


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