Strong April figures offer encouragement to manufacturing sector

Manufacturing output in April 2016 was up 2.3% on the month, and was up 0.8% on the year according to the latest figures from the ONS.

The UK Index of Production figures released this week also show that total industrial production in April 2016 was up 2.0% on the month, and was up 1.6% on the year.

After a long run of disappointing results, April’s stronger than expected figures should provide a much needed boost to confidence at a time when most economic figures published recently have been disappointing.

But there is no room for any complacency. Manufacturing output is still below its pre-recession level, and longer-term trends show that the sector is struggling.

This is unsurprising given current adverse global economic conditions, but the latest figures show that there are still areas of strength in British manufacturing that must be supported.

A healthy manufacturing base remains critical to the well-being of our economy in key areas such as exports, productivity and innovation.

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