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Industry Focus

Advanced Manufacturing is a dynamic, globalised, sector which is constantly evolving. Much of that evolution is as a consequence of technological change which is happening at a faster rate than ever before. Manufacturing Technology that change right across sectors and in companies of all sizes. The MTA exists to help its members transform the manufacturing world.

UK Productivity Flash estimate, 2nd Quarter 2020:  The Office for National Statistics. (ONS) data shows that labour productivity, measured by output per hour, fell by -2.5% compared to the previous quarter - this is the largest reduction since estimates began.  Compared to a year earlier, it was down by -3.0%.

We have received details of a couple of Webinars that our colleagues at AMRC are running in September.

Through our contacts at grant funding specialists TBAT Innovation we have received notice of a couple of funding opportunities that have opened recently.

The grant funding landscape has changed during the pandemic, with many competitions extended or postponed.  There is now an influx of postponed competitions opening, new competitions becoming available and the usual routine of opportunities, such as Smart Grants, starting to return.

As part of its Brexit information campaign, the Department for International Trade (DIT) reminds us that the transition period will end on 31 December and the UK will leave the single market and customs union.  In urging businesses to take action now to start preparing for new trading rules which will be in effect from January 2021, they have issued some updates on what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

The Border and Protocol Delivery Group, a cross-Government group working on the 2025 UK Border Strategy, are running a consultation on the subject.  Details of the open public consultation can be found at

UK Manufacturing Output, June 2020:  With publication of the June data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the picture for the 2nd quarter of the year is completed.  We normally focus on the quarterly (or rolling 3-month) periods but reference to the monthly data will also be useful in the current situation with April having marked the low point of the cycle in most cases.

UK GDP, first estimate for 2nd Quarter 2020:  The ONS has released its monthly estimate of GDP for June and, with this, the first estimate for the UK economy in the 2nd quarter of the year.  We will focus mainly on the quarterly data but it is worth pointing out that following month-on-month falls in GDP of -6.9% in March and -20.0% in April, the revised increase of +2.4% in May has been followed by growth of +8.7% in June.  Assuming that the recovery is not reversed, even a

The PMI for the UK manufacturing sector reached its highest level since March 2019 at 53.3 although, given that this tracks month-on-month changes (up/same/down) rather than levels, this should not be surprising.  We might have expected a stronger figure given the severe impact of the Covid-19 outbreak over earlier months.  In fact, this strength is there in that output grew at its strongest pace for 32 months and orders were at a 28-month high and there is also significance in that output...

Flash PMI for Manufacturing, June 2020:  The Purchasing Managers Index figures will be out at the start of next week but the initial flash figures point to the low point having been passed.  Although the UK manufacturing flash PMI for July has come out at 53.6, this hides a stronger improvement in output with the sub-heading for this element reaching 59.8 which is the highest for 32 months.  While the PMI measures month-on-month change rather than levels, it is clear that the

UK Manufacturing Output, May 2020:  The data for manufacturing output from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that activity in the latest 3 months (March to May 2020) was -18.0% lower than in the previous 3 months (December 2019, January and February 2020) and -19.9% down on the same period a year earlier (March to May 2019).  Although we will focus on the 3-month moving trends in the rest of this note, it is worth noting that manufacturing output in May was +8.5