BCC: Disappointing manufacturing figures highlight challenges facing the sector

  • Manufacturing output in January 2015 was down 0.5% on the month, but up 1.9% compared with the same period the year earlier.
  • Total industrial production in January 2015 was down 0.1% on the month, but up 1.3% compared with same period the year earlier.
  • Today, the BCC has upgraded its UK GDP growth forecast for the next two years, from 2.6% to 2.7% in 2015, and 2.4% to 2.6% in 2016.

Commenting on the manufacturing and industrial output figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“These figures highlight a disappointing monthly decline in manufacturing. While longer-term comparisons still show solid growth of just under 2.0% over the past year, there is little doubt that the manufacturing sector is facing major challenges.

“Although many manufacturing firms restructured during the downturn, the recent sharp rises in the pound against the euro mean that manufacturing exporters are now facing greater obstacles to maintain their exports to the eurozone. To provide businesses with long-term stability, interest rates should stay on hold until at least early 2016.”