UK manufacturers manufactured 4.4% more in April

British firms made more electronics and rubber last month. Get them.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 09 Dec 2014

Manufacturing data: not, admittedly, one of those things that sends most people into a frenzy of excitement – but important nonetheless. And new figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest output from British manufacturers was 0.4% higher in April than March, and 4.4% higher than the same time last year.  

The UK’s strengths in April were transport equipment, electronics, and rubber and plastics.  Industrial output – which also includes North Sea oil production and power generation – was up 3%, its fastest rise since January 2011.

Alright, so the figures aren’t particularly sexy (unless that sort of rubber and plastics drove the rise) – but it does point to the fact recovery is looking increasingly robust.

As Neil Prothero, deputy chief economist at manufacturing body the EEF pointed out, the manufacturing sector has broadened out ‘impressively’ over the past year.

‘Production is now at its highest level in five years, highlighting industry's prominent role in the economic upturn, despite the subdued trend in external trade.’

The only fly in the ointment is that, as the chart below shows, we’re still way below pre-crisis levels (and back then, everyone was rueing the disappearance of ‘Made in Britain’).

So we’ve still got a long way to go before the recovery is complete. But at least that upward climb is getting increasingly steep.

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