The recent release of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown an increase in total production output of 1.1%. This production increase was measured over a one year time period, beginning in October 2013 and culminating in October 2014. Furthermore, the largest aspect of production which is manufacturing saw a promising growth of 1.7%. The Index of Production (IOP) figures also show that eight of the 13 manufacturing subsectors have seen an increase over the twelve month period. The products which have contributed most to this increase include tobacco, food products and beverages.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news from the ONS. They found that total production has actually fallen by 0.1%, in between September and October 2014. Manufacturing was the only main component to take a fall, decreasing by 0.7%. The IOP data has revealed that the components which are most to blame in this decline are electrical, optical, pharmaceutical and chemical products.
This monthly decline may not be as bad as it seems. Experts have cited this particular sub industry as especially volatile and prone to unpredictable highs and lows. Furthermore, some of the products in questions e.g. electrical components, differ from other sub-industries in they are often ‘project driven’ and are therefore subject to large and irregular payments.
Overall, business leaders seem quite content with these figures and are proposing further strategies in order to continue this trend into 2015. These include forging new export markets, investment into new machinery and R&D and of course tackling the skills shortage that the country is facing.