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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

UK GDP, 1st Quarter 2015:  The latest estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows no change from the original estimate that the UK economy had quarter-on-quarter growth of +0.3%;  the annualised rate is also unrevised at +2.8%.

The Manufacturing and Services sector grew compared to the final quarter of 2014 by +0.1% and +0.4% respectively, with a contraction in construction of -1.1%;  mining and extraction, which includes oil & gas output fell by -0.7% and was -1.8% lower than a year earlier.

You can get the ONS Statistical Bulletin, which has the full details from across the whole economy, from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or on request from MTA.

UK Business Investment, 1st Quarter 2015:  The provisional results from the ONS shows that total business investment was £45.7 billion in the first quarter of the year;  this is an increase of +1.7% on the figure for the final period of 2014 and is +3.7% higher than year earlier.  The ONS also note that this is the highest level since the 2nd quarter of 2005.

At this stage, we don’t have the breakdown of spending by industry (either for manufacturing or for engineering - this comes with the final figures in one month’s time), but there is some data by asset.  Spending on ICT equipment and other machinery - the most appropriate category for manufacturing technology - fell by -2.4% compared to the previous quarter, but was +2.0% higher than in the 1st quarter of 2014.

You can get the ONS Statistical Bulletin from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or on request from MTA.

UK Machine Tool Exports/Imports, 1st Quarter 2015:  Preliminary analysis of the UK trade data for machine tools shows that exports were worthy £97.5 million;  this is a reduction of -32.4% compared to the previous quarter and -10.8% lower than a year earlier.  On the same basis, imports of machine tools in the UK were -13.8% down on the final period of 2014 and -19.6% lower than at the start of last year;  imports of machine tools were worth £127.6 million, giving a deficit for the 1st quarter of 2015 of -£30.2 million.

CECIMO Statistical Toolbox, May 2015:  The latest edition of the CELIMO Toolbox has the usual round-up of general economic data for Europe and the latest reading of MT-IX – this is CECIMO’s own tracking of share prices for publically quoted machine tool manufacturing companies from around the world.

This edition also has a summary of the latest trends from the CECIMO Barometer Business Climate Survey.  In general, this is still positive, but less so than in recent quarters, leading CECIMO to put a “negative” on the overall results.  European machine tool builders reported a balance of +17% for the general business situation, a fall from the +20% in the January survey.  Expectations regarding demand, production and exports have a negative trend, but employment is expected to increase in the next 3 months which suggests that respondents think that the current weakness is only temporary.

You can download the CECIMO Toolbox from their web-site at www.cecimo.eu or request it from MTA.