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The latest edition of the MTA Economic Report is available to download from the MTA website at:

The document focuses mainly on the UK economy and features a round-up of the latest information on the economy in general, the key customer sectors and the latest trends for the manufacturing technology sector.  This report also contains an article which summarises the presentations from our recent Forecast Seminar.  For more information on any of the items in the report, please contact Geoff Noon at MTA.

UK GDP, 3rd Quarter 2012:  The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its second estimate of GDP.  The total value has been revised down slightly, but this does not affect the percentage change when rounded, so they are still reporting quarter-on-quarter growth of +1.0%;  however, the economy is now estimated to be -0.1% lower than it was 12 months earlier, a downward revision from the first estimate which showed the size of the economy to be unchanged (when rounded to the nearest decimal point).

There was a small downward revision in the rate of growth for the manufacturing sector, a larger reduction in the size of the construction sector and an upward revision to output in the extraction industries (mining, quarrying and oil & gas extraction), while the data for the service sector was unchanged. The ONS repeated its comments that most of the growth is generated because of the lower number of working days in the 2nd quarter (June) because of the extra holidays, the poor weather throughout that quarter and the inclusion of Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales in the data for Q3.  The underlying trend for the UK economy remains one of weak growth.

More details are in the ONS Statistical Bulletin and the associated data tables which can be downloaded from their web-site at or requested from MTA.

UK Business Investment, 3rd Quarter 2012:  Provisional data from the ONS shows that spending on Other Capital Equipment (total investment minus vehicles and new building work) by manufacturing businesses was +2.3% higher than in the 2nd period of this year, but was -17.1% lower than in the 3rd quarter of 2011.  On the same basis, total investment by the Engineering & Vehicles sector fell by -8.6% quarter-on-quarter and was -18.8% lower than a year earlier;  in contrast, investment by the Metals and Metal Goods sector increased strongly with growth rates of +32.8% and +35.2% respectively.  All these trends are based on seasonally adjusted data, at 2009 prices.

Again, more details are in the ONS Statistical Bulletin and the associated data tables which can be downloaded from their web-site at or requested from MTA.

CELIMO Trends Survey, 3rd Quarter 2012:  CELIMO is the European Federation of Associations representing importers and distributors of machine tools, tooling and related equipment.  Their latest survey shows that business was -6% lower than in the previous quarter of 2012 and -9% down on a year ago.  This is typical of the 3rd quarter which is affected by the holiday season, although the reduction on the 2011 figure is more of a concern.  The respondents expect a small increase (+3%) in the final period of 2012, but this will still leave the overall business level down by -8% on where it was at the end of last year.  The report of the CELIMO Trends Survey is available on request from Geoff Noon at MTA.

US Foreign Trade in Machine Tools, January to September 2012:  Data from AMT shows that US machine tool exports for the first nine months of the year were +2.7% ahead of the total for the same period in 2011 at just over US$2 billion; at the same time, US imports of machine tools have increased by +43.0% to almost US$4.6 billion.