Rubber & Plastics boost UK output
Posted on 13/03/2014 Category: Rubber Industry News
UK manufacturing output increased again in January, with output rising 0.4% and in nine of the 13 manufacturing subsectors, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. Interestingly in this latest set of results the largest contributor to growth was the manufacture of rubber & plastic products & other non-metallic mineral products, showing a year on year increase of 6.2% from December 2013. Given that the next largest sector was the manufacture of machinery & equipment, increasing by 5.2%, all the signs of a broad-based improvement in growth are there. It was not all goo news however with the pharmaceutical industry, output decreasing by 13.9%, and the manufacture of coke & refined petroleum products falling by 7.3%. Commenting specifically on this the ONS suggested that refining was particularly low in January because of planned maintenance work falling due on a number of sites around the country. Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “As a number of business surveys have so far suggested, manufacturing entered 2014 with a fair wind behind it with a majority of sub-sectors posting gains on the month. “While the picture isn’t universally positive, strength seen in sectors from machinery and transport to plastics and non-metallic minerals suggest there are a number of factors driving growth in the sector, including improving investment intentions and a brighter construction outlook.” Overall, UK manufacturing output increased by 3.3% between January 2013 and January 2014, which strengthens an improving trend and is the highest increase since February 2011. It remains to be see how much of this headline level of growth filter through to the lower levels of the manufacturing economy with subcontractors to the Tier 1 manufacturers still seeing patchy levels of business, however the rising mood of optimism seems well established across the UK manufacturing community.