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BCC: UK manufacturing remains competitive, despite economic challenges

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  • Manufacturing output for December 2012: +1.6% on the month, -1.5% on the year
  • Total industrial production in December 2012: +1.1% on the month, -1.7% on the year

Commenting on the index of production statistics for December 2012 published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Although we are encouraged by the increase seen in December, these figures confirm a disappointing trend in production over the past year. Taking the fourth quarter of 2012 as a whole, both manufacturing and total production show declines over the quarter and over the year.

“These figures are not enti

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rely surprising given the stagnation in the economy over the last year. But manufacturing remains a significant sector of our economy and has coped well with the recent challenges it has faced. While weak growth in world trade limits the scope for a significant expansion in manufacturing exports, the sector remains competitive and should benefit from recent declines in the pound against the euro.

“Many manufacturing firms have succeeded in retaining their skills bases in the recession and are now adjusting to a difficult environment of low growth. Given the right backing, British manufacturing companies have the will and ability to play their part in driving the UK recovery.”

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