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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

European Industrial Production, April 2015:  Figures published by Eurostat show that total industrial production increased by +.1% compared to March for both the euro-zone and the EU28 as a whole.  Compared to a year earlier, it is now +0.8% higher in the euro=zone with an increase of +1.2% for the EU28.

Looking at the breakdown by industry sector, output of capital goods in the euro-zone was +0.7% higher than in March 2015 and +2.1% up on the level of a year ago in April 2014;  for the EU28, output of this sector grew by +0.6% and +2.4% respectively.  In most of these trends, capital goods is the fastest growing of the sectors within industrial production.

Looking at the comparison with April 2014, among the 24 Member States for which the data is available, total industrial production increased in 20 and fell in only 4.  The fastest growth was in Latvia (+10.2%) and Ireland (+9.8%), with the most significant reductions being in Finland (-4.1%) and Netherlands (-3.9%).

You can get the Eurostat News Release from their web-site at http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/news/news-releases or on request from MTA.

UK Trade in Goods by industry, 1st Quarter 2015:  Analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that exports of Engineering goods were +0.7% higher than in the 4th quarter of 2014 and +0.6% up on the level of a year ago in the 1st quarter of 2014; the trends for the Metal Engineering industries (excluding electronics and electrical from total Engineering) were +1.1% and +0.7% respectively.

Imports of products in these sectors also grew;  for total Engineering, imports were +0.9% up on the previous quarter and +5.6% higher than a year earlier, while Metal engineering products had growth rates of +2.0% and +5.9% respectively.

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

UK Annual Business Survey, 2013:  The Annual Business Survey (ABS) carried out by the ONS gives information about the structure of the UK economy, by industry, at a relatively detailed level.

It is not appropriate to go into all of the detail in this article - it would fail to meet the “brief” test! - but the summary shows that in 2013 there were 127,900 business in the manufacturing sector with a total turnover of £518.9 billion and gross value added of £154.8 billion.  Average employment in the manufacturing sector in 2013 was 2.48 million, slightly lower than in 2012 - indeed this figure has fallen each year since 2008.  Total net capital expenditure was £11.7 billion, lower than in 2012, but up on the 2011 figure.

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

USMTO and US CTMR, April 2015:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders received in the US market, irrespective of origin;  the numbers in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO programme.  Between January and April 2015, orders are -8.5% lower than in the same period in 2014.

Because of confidentiality issues, the complete regional breakdown is only available for 3 of the 6 regions, but using data for metal cutting machines (which is published in all regions and forms by far the largest part of total business), there were falls in year to date orders in 4 regions, with business in the South Central region seeing the largest reduction and only 2 regions in positive territory, North Central West being the strongest.

The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks sales of cutting tools in the US and reports that sales in April  were worth US$183.5 million;  this is -7.9% lower than in March and -4.6% down on the total for April 2014 (there is no regional breakdown of this series).

You can download the News Releases on these two reports from the AMT web-site at www.amtonline.org or request them from MTA (we have a small mailing list for these surveys and can send them to you each month as they are released).

Investment Grants in Scotland and the English Regional Growth Fund:  The Scottish Government still uses a grant based system for supporting investment - Regional Selective Assistance (RSA);  details of this scheme are available at http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/services/attract-investment/regional-selective-assistance/overview.  They produce a list of both accepted offers and payments made - copies of the Scottish report for the 1st quarter of 2015 are available on the above web-site or on request from MTA (we can also add you to a mailing list to receive these reports as they become available).

There is a different system for England where the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) operates the Regional Growth Fund (RGF);  there have not been any updates on the latest situation with this scheme since our last mention of it back in April, but you can find more details on the BIS web-site at https://www.gov.uk/understanding-the-regional-growth-fund.