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Manufacturers challenged

Manufacturing output in May 2013: -0.8% on the month, -2.9% on the year
Total industrial production is 0.0% on the month, -2.3% on the year

Commenting on the production and manufacturing figures for May 2013, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Most analysts were expecting small increases in both manufacturing and production in May. Although monthly figures can show erratic movements, longer-term trends show declines in both manufacturing and total output. While we shouldn’t be too negative about these trends, it is clear that scope for expansion in the manufacturing sector will be limited in the near-term, and the economy will have to continue to rely on a strong service sector.

“These figures could dampen optimism ahead of the GDP figures due out later this month, but we still expect to see a slight improvement in growth in Q2. This is still realistic due to the strong performance of the service sector. Overall, the economy is still facing many challenges and the government must make an even bigger effort to refocus its priorities towards policies that support growth and drive the recovery.”