Manufacturing output shows slight upward trend

Figures published today by the Office of National Statistics have shown that between March and April this year manufacturing output rose by 0.9%.

While analysts warn that monthly growth rates are "volatile" indicators of productivity, there were nonetheless widespread rises in manufacturing, the most significant being increases in output of 2.1% in the transport equipment industries and 1.8% in the chemicals and man-made fibres industries. Significantly, there were no marked decreases across the various manufacturing sectors.

However, in the three months to April, the seasonally adjusted output index remained 1.2% lower than the previous three month period. In the latest three months, manufacturing output decreased by 1.4%, mining and quarrying output decreased by 0.4% but output of the electricity, gas and water supply industries increased by 0.2%, compared with the previous three months.

Output of the consumer durable goods industries fell by 0.6% compared with the previous three months and is 0.9% below the same period last year.

The consumer non-durable goods industry's output fell by 1.2% in the latest three months compared with the previous three months and remains 2.1% lower than the same period 12 months ago.

While the latest three-month period figures showed output of the capital goods industries had dipped by 1% compared with the previous three months, production was 2.1% up when compared with the same period last year.

Output in the "intermediate goods" and energy industries fell by 1.3% in the latest three months compared with the previous three months and was 2.6% lower than the same period a year ago.


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