British Manufacturing Growth Stalls

09 October 2002

New figures from Britain’s Office for National Statistics show the economy is far from out of the woods, as the troubled manufacturing industry registered flat growth for August.

The ONS’ seasonally adjusted index of manufacturing activity stood at 99.1 (1995 = 100), the same level as in July. The barometer of overall production, which also includes mining and utilities, fell 0.3 points, compared with analysts’ expectations of a 0.8-point rise.

August’s figures come in spite of a 17.8% surge in car production. Unfortunately this was offset by falls in ten of the thirteen manufacturing sectors studied by the ONS.

For the three months to August, manufacturing dropped 1.7% compared with the previous three months and 4.9% year-on-year, though these figures include June data, affected by the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s golden jubilee.

Nevertheless, a more positive picture was painted by a separate study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, which found that, despite the weakness in the manufacturing sector, the overall British economy posted 0.5% growth in the three months to September – in line with long-term trends.

Data sourced from: The Times (London); additional content by WARC staff