From the TUC

Confirmation of the manufacturing recovery

07 Dec 2010, by in Economics

Today’s Index of Manufacturing data from the Office for National Statistics added to the evidence for a continuing manufacturing recovery. The Index, which shows the level of manufacturing output, was 0.6 points higher in October than in September, and 5.8 per cent higher than in October 2009. The increase was twice as high as had been expected and the September rise was upgraded from 0.1 to 0.2 per cent. The overall Index of Production, which includes mining and the utilities, was down 0.2 per cent on the month, but these elements are accepted as being volatile.

As I noted above, the evidence for a sustained manufacturing recovery is now very strong; but today’s figures aren’t quite as impressive as the manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index results that I found so encouraging last week. If we look at the IoP results over the past two years the picture for 2010 is of solid growth rather than a boom:

Manufacturing Index

On a broader front, there was good news in the Manpower survey of employers’ recruitment intentions for the first quarter of 2011. The seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is +2 per cent, the first improvement for 12 months. This overall average hides very wide regional variations:

Region Seasonally Adjusted Net Q1 Intentions

+ 5%

East Midlands

+ 3%


+ 3%

North East

– 6%

North West

+ 6%

Northern Ireland

– 7%


– 12%

South East

+ 5%

South West

+ 13%


+ 9%

West Midlands

– 5%

Yorkshire & Humberside

+ 2%

There are obvious worries that some regions are going to fare better than others.

Manpower also released the results of their Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey today, and these figures are encouraging. Compared with 12 months ago, employers’ hiring expectations are higher in 28 of the 39 countries covered by the survey, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. These are key trading partners for the UK and the results confirm the picture of a continuing global recovery suggested by last week’s global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index. This is important – a  healthy market for our exports is vitally important if the UK recovery is to be maintained in 2011.

One Response to Confirmation of the manufacturing recovery

  1. Good news on jobs could be threatened by cuts | Left Foot Forward
    Dec 8th 2010, 5:25 pm

    […] points to wide regional variations, seeing “a wider gap in hiring intentions now than we did at any point during the recession. […]