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Manufacturing recovery – still challenges

·         Manufacturing output rose 1.2% between August and September 2013, while total production increased by 0.9%

·         In the three months to September 2013, manufacturing output rose 0.9% over the previous three months, but when compared with a year earlier, there was only a minimal increase (0.1%)

Commenting on the index of production figures for September 2013, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The stronger than expected recovery in September will boost confidence in the manufacturing sector. However in the latest three months manufacturing has virtually stagnated compared with this time last year, and the sector’s share of GDP has declined over recent years. Nevertheless we remain cautiously optimistic about the sector’s ability to recover despite the tough economic environment at home and abroad.

“Many firms have retained their skill bases during the financial crisis and can begin to innovate and enter new markets. But the future success of our manufacturing sector will rely on active government support for exporters and an improvement in the availability of finance for growing firms.”