· Manufacturing output in April 2013: -0.2% on the month, -0.5% year on year
· Total industrial production in April 2013: +0.1% on the month, -0.6% year on year
Commenting on the Index of Production figures for April 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:
“The figures are slightly worse than expected, coming after two monthly increases in February and March. Longer-term trends are also concerning, as both manufacturing and total industrial output show declined compared to a year ago, and even three years ago. Our manufacturing exporters are still overly focused on the weak eurozone, but low domestic demand has also limited progress. Our view remains that while manufacturing output will begin to make slow progress, we still expect the sector to record negative growth in 2013 as a whole.
“The UK economy is facing challenges at home and abroad, and the service sector will be the main driver of Britain’s recovery while the manufacturing sector continues to struggle. However many firms have preserved their skill base during the recovery, and with further support, particularly for exporters, the manufacturing sector will gradually improve.”