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ECONOMIC DATA THIS WEEK

European Industrial Output, April; 2014:  Eurostat’s latest estimates show that industrial production in the euro-zone was +0.8% above the March level, with a rise of +0.7% for the EU28 as a whole.  Compared to April 2013, total industrial production grew by +1.4% in the euro-zone and by +2.1% for the EU28.

Within the total, which includes the output of extraction and utilities industries as well as manufacturing, the output of Capital Goods in the euro-zone was at the same level as in March, with an increase of +0.4% in the EU28 as a whole.  Compared to April 2013, euro-zone output of capital goods increased by +0.3% with growth of +1.8% for the EU28 as a whole.

Looking back over 12 months, among those member states for whom the data is available, total industrial output increased in 18 countries and fell in 6.  The fastest growth rates were in Ireland (+15.0%) and Hungary (+10.1%), while the most significant reduction was in Malta (-11.4%).

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

Bank of England Agents’ Business Conditions Report:  The latest summary from the Bank of England’s Agents’ shows that manufacturing output for the domestic market has continued to grow at a steady pace;  the recent appreciation of Sterling appears to have hit export margins rather than volumes at this stage (this is logical since the initial impact will be on existing contracts, with the loss of business due to higher prices having a longer-term effect).

The agents reported that credit conditions continue to ease for most firms, although the smallest businesses were still finding this market tight.  Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector edged higher and is now marginally above normal, with reports that investment over the past year had often created additional capacity.  Investment intentions in the sector moderated slightly, in some cases because of the investment that has taken place recently and also because, for some capital intensive manufacturing sectors, it is being held back by expectations of poor profitability.

You can get the Bank’s Agents’ summary report from MTA or from their web-site at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/agentssummary/2014...

UK Trade in Goods by Industry, 1st Quarter 2014:  Data from the ONS shows that, overall, the UK trade deficit in goods narrowed by £0.3 billion to -£26.5 billion compared with the deficit in the 4th quarter of 2013.  The latest analysis allows us to look at the key industries that we usually highlight with the output data.

Of the 4 sectors that we cover, Machinery and Aerospace have consistently run trade surpluses, while Automotive and Metal Products have a deficit.  Compared to the previous quarter, the Machinery industry improved its trade surplus on the back of a fall in imports, while exports were broadly unchanged;  for the Aerospace sector, the trade surplus was reduced as exports fell by more than imports.  The trade deficit in the Automotive industry increased compared to the final period of 2014 imports rising while exports were unchanged;  the Metal Products industry saw a small reduction in the trade deficit - as with Aerospace, imports fell while exports were broadly similar to the previous quarter.

You can download the ONS Statistics Bulletin from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or request it from MTA.

USMTO and US CTMR April 2014:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders received in the UK market.  In the first four months of the year orders were running at +3.0% higher than in the same period last year (January to April 2013).  Not all of the data is available for the six regions, although we do have figures for metal cutting machines in all of these areas (it is the metal forming and fabrication data that is missing in some cases);  these suggest growth in 4 areas, led by an expansion of +20.7% in the South-East and a reduction in two of the regions, with the fall of -18.7% in North Central-West the most significant.

The US Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) tracks sales in the US market and is based on returns from companies which covers about 80% of the total market.  The total for April was US$175 million, +2.1% higher than in March, but -3.3% down on April 2013.  There is no regional analysis of these figures.

You can get the News Releases for both of these series from the AMT web-site at www.AMTonline.org or on request from MTA - we have a mailing list for these results each month if you are interested to receive them on a regular basis.