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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

UK Index of Production, January 2016:  According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) total manufacturing output in the latest 3 month period (November and December 2015 and January 2016) was -0.2% lower than in the previous 3 months (August, September and October 2015) and -1.0% down on the same period a year earlier (November and December 2014 and January 2015).

On the same comparisons, the Capital Goods sector was unchanged compared to the previous 3 months, but down by -1.3% on a year earlier;  however, it is worth noting that output of the capital goods sector is at a relatively high level and that the period at the end of 2014 was the peak in this series which goes back to 1997.

At the industry level, Automotive output was -1.6% lower than in the previous 3 months, but this is partly because both August and October 2015 were exceptionally good months and current output is +7.5% higher than a year ago.  Aerospace output was up by +0.8% on the sort-term comparison and by +7.0% compared to the period from November 2014 to January 2015.

The machinery industry continues to struggle with output in the latest 3 months -1.7% down on the previous 3 months and -11.4% lower than the same period a year earlier.  It is, perhaps, worth noting that this year we don’t appear to have seen any of the probable data problems that occurred in January 2013.  The 4th industry that we track regularly is Metal Products which saw falls in output of -0.4% and -0.6% respectively.

You can download the ONS Statistical Bulletin from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or request it from MTA;  we also have an analysis of the key industries which is available to members - please contact Geoff Noon (gnoon@mta.org.uk).

European GDP, 4th Quarter 2015:  Revised data from Eurostat confirms the initial estimate of quarter-on-quarter growth of +0.3% for GDP in the Euro-zone, but the estimate for the EU28 as a whole was revised up to +0.4%.  The revised figures for the 4th quarter match the growth rate in the 3rd quarter for both areas  For 2015 overall, GDP grew by +1.6% in the euro-zone and by +1.9% for the EU28 overall - both of these are upward revisions of one-tenth of a percentage point.

With data published for 25 of the EU Member States, only Croatia and Latvia saw their economies contract in the 4th quarter of 2015 and as both of these had grown in the previous period, none of the EU Member States is in recession.  The fastest quarter-on-quarter growth in the final period of 2015 was recorded in Sweden (+1.3%) and Estonia (+1.2%).

You can download the Eurostat News Release from their web-site at http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat or request it from MTA.

European Industrial Production, January 2016:  Eurostat reports that total industrial production in the Euro-zone increased by +2.1% compared to December 2015, with the EU28 as a whole seeing growth of +1.7%.  Compared to January 2015, industrial production increased by +2.8% in the Euro-zone and by +2.5% in the EU28

Within the total, output of Capital Goods in the Euro-zone were +3.9% up compared to December 2015 and +4.6% higher than a year earlier.  For the EU28, these changes were +3.3% and +4.7% respectively.

On a 12-month basis, among the 21 Member States for whom the January 2016 figure is available, total industrial production increased in 16 and fell in 5;  the fastest growth was in Ireland (+42.7%) and Lithuania (+10.5%), with the largest reduction being in Malta (-8.9%).

You can download the Eurostat News Release from their web-site at http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat or request it from MTA.

USMTO and US CTMR, January 2016:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders received in the US market, irrespective of origin.  The new year started poorly with orders 30% lower than in December 2015 and 21% down on January 2015.  The data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO programme.

AMT report that automotive, aerospace and medical sectors are currently driving orders, while the off-road construction; oil and gas; and agriculture sectors continue to struggle,  This explains the regional trends which although not complete because of confidentiality, show significant fall in 4 regions, only a small decline in the West and strong growth in the South-East.

The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks sales of cutting tools in the US market and, like the USMTO programme, reports on the basis of the returns that are received.  The January total of $153.1 million was -2.1% lower than in December 2015 and -16.7% down on a year earlier.  There is no regional breakdown for cutting tools.

You can download the USMTO and US CTMR News Releases AMT web-site at www.amtonline.org or request them from MTA.