ERJ staff report (PR)
London - The rubber industry is among a group of sectors defying a general slowdown in UK manufacturing, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics.
In its latest Index of Production (IoP), ONS estimates overall production output in the UK to have increased by 1.7% in the 12 months since July 2013. However, output growth has waned: increasing by just 0.3 percent this July.
The general decline in growth, however, was cushioned by several manufacturing sectors. These included the rubber, plastics products and other non-metallic mineral products industries.
The IoP data confirms a “picture of a slowing pace of expansion” in the production and manufacturing sector, according to Lee Hopley, chief economist at manufacturers’ organisation the EEF.
“Nonetheless, manufacturing remains on track for growth of over 3% this year, with sectors such as rubber and plastics, non-metallic minerals and mechanical equipment continuing to post strong output gains,” she noted.
However, weakness in overseas markets remains a drag, Hopkins warning: “Despite increasing over the month, goods exports fell 0.3% in the three months to July, amid an increasingly uncertain overseas environment.
“This could make sustaining growth more challenging going forward. It is therefore critical that efforts are maintained to keep growth on track in manufacturing and across the whole economy in the remaining months of this parliament.”