UK manufacturing remains competitive, despite economic challenges

7th February 2013

·         Manufacturing output for December 2012: +1.

6% on the month, -1.5% on the year ·         Total industrial production in December 2012: +1.1% on the month, -1.7% on the year   Commenting on the index of production statistics for December 2012 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:   -Although we are encouraged by the increase seen in December, these figures confirm a disappointing trend in production over the past year. Taking the fourth quarter of 2012 as a whole, both manufacturing and total production show declines over the quarter and over the year.   -These figures are not entirely surprising given the stagnation in the economy over the last year. But manufacturing remains a significant sector of our economy and has coped well with the recent challenges it has faced. While weak growth in world trade limits the scope for a significant expansion in manufacturing exports, the sector remains competitive and should benefit from recent declines in the pound against the euro.   -Many manufacturing firms have succeeded in retaining their skills bases in the recession and are now adjusting to a difficult environment of low growth. Given the right backing, British manufacturing companies have the will and ability to play their part in driving the UK recovery.

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