Britain’s Largest Manufacturing Fall in 5 years

UK Manufacturing Sector Output Graph

Britain’s Largest Manufacturing Fall in 5 years

On 9 June 2018 the Office of National Statistics released their latest figures which showed a worrying fall in UK manufacturing output. In April 2018, UK Manufacturing fell by 1.4% which is the largest fall since the 1.8% contraction experienced in October 2012.

The ONS reported:

  • The three-monthly fall to April 2018 in manufacturing of 0.5% is the largest fall since May 2017, due mainly to decreases in electrical equipment (9.4%), and basic metals and metal products (1.8%).
  • The fall in manufacturing is supported by widespread weakness throughout the sector due to a reduction in the growth rate of both export and domestic turnover.
  • In the three months to April 2018, the Index of Production increased by 0.3% compared with the three months to January 2018, due primarily to a rise of 3.2% in energy supply; this was supported by a rise in mining and quarrying of 4.3%.
  • In April 2018, total production was estimated to have decreased by 0.8% compared with March 2018, led by a fall of 1.4% in manufacturing and supported by falls in energy supply (2.0%), and water and waste (1.8%).
  • The monthly decrease in manufacturing output is the largest fall since October 2012 when it fell by 1.8%; there is widespread weakness with 9 of the 13 sub-sectors decreasing and this is a continuation of the recent slowdown in this sector.
  • In the three months to April 2018, the Index of Production increased by 2.3% compared with the same three months to April 2017, due mainly to a rise of 2.3% in manufacturing.
  • Full report can be found here.UK Manufacturing Sector Output Graph

We have highlighted the one month downturn which gets “hidden” in the headline for the three monthly figures. We urge all those who deal with the sector to heed the warning that further uncertainty in both this and the retail sector, on top of the instability already experienced in the Construction Sector earlier this year. The UK economy looks like it could be in for a bumpy ride over the next few years.

Martin Kingman

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