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Economic News

UK Manufacturing Output, October 2013:  Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an increase in total manufacturing output in October compared to both September 2013 and to October 2012.  However, monthly data can be volatile, even when seasonally adjusted and we focus on the moving 3-month average trend as this smooth’s out some of the blips.

In the latest 3 months (August, September and October 2013), total manufacturing output was +0.5% higher than in the previous 3 months (May, June and July 2013) and +1.0% above the level of a year earlier (August, September and October 2012).  Output of the Capital Goods industries taken together shows growth rates of +1.1% and +3.1% respectively;  Intermediate Goods grew more rapidly in the shorter-term comparison, but Capital Goods has the fastest growth rate of the major industrial groupings when compared to a year ago.

Looking at the individual industries that we track, the Motor Vehicle industry is leading the way with growth of +3.6% in the latest 3 months which makes the industry +16.2% larger than a year ago; since the start of this century, output in this sector has only been higher than the October 2013 figure in 3 individual months - August 2002 (which was a bounce back from a very low figure in July that year) and February and April 2008, immediately before the recession struck this sector.

In the other industries that we track, Aerospace continues its steady upward trend with output in the latest 3 months growing by +2.7% compared to the previous 3 months and +12.4% higher than a year ago.  The Machinery industry has seen some strange numbers this year (especially in January when it fell very sharply) and although it registered growth of +2.4% in the latest 3 months, output is still -7.5% down on a year ago.

Finally, the upturn we saw in Metal Products last month has continued in October;  in the latest 3 months output is +4.4% higher than in May-July, but it is still -4.4% lower than a year ago.  We need to wait to see if this turns into the long awaited recovery for this industry!

You can download the ONS Statistics Bulletin and the full dataset from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or request it from MTA; we can help you find your way around this dataset - contact Geoff Noon (gnoon@mta.org.uk).

USMTO October 2013:  The US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) programme tracks orders placed in the US market for both domestic manufacturers and importers.  Orders for January to October 2013 are -10.6% down on the same months of last year.  The regional pattern shows that orders grew by just over +2% in two regions (North-East and West) but fell in the other 4 areas, led by a decline of -21% in the South Central area and -20% in the South-East.

You can download the AMT News Release from their web-site at www.amtonline.org or request them from MTA.  Publishing schedules mean that we don’t have the cutting tool data this week - we will include that in next week’s Friday Brief - but you also will find this report on the AMT web-site.

Investment Grants in Scotland and Wales:  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/fund-your-business.aspx.  They produce a list of both accepted offers and payments made - copies of the Scottish report for the 3rd quarter of 2013 are available on request from MTA (we can also add you to a mailing list to receive these reports as they become available) or via the above link under “reports”.

There is a similar scheme in 3 parts of Wales - the Local Investment Fund (LIF); this offers grants of up to 40% of eligible capital expenditure with an approved project, subject to a minimum of £1000 and a maximum of £10000 grant and you can get more information from the web-site at http://www.lifcymru.org.uk/English/Pages/home.aspx.  There are some case studies on the web-site but they do not appear to publish formal reports of grants made.