• Manufacturing output in August down 0.3% on the month, up 1.5% on the year

Commenting on the manufacturing output figures published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“In view of the worsening global economic background, the manufacturing output figures, while disappointing and weaker than expected, are not surprising. Growth has slowed during the last month, but longer-term comparisons show manufacturing output has increased, both on a three-monthly and annual basis.

“The figures broadly reinforce the picture painted by the BCC’s Quarterly Economic Survey, and support our view that growth has remained in positive territory in the third quarter of the year. There is no need for undue pessimism about the health of the manufacturing sector, but there are challenges ahead, particularly for those firms exporting to the Eurozone.

“The recent move to increase the QE programme is helpful, but not sufficient. The government must urgently implement its plans for credit easing, with a particular focus on small- and medium-sized businesses. The government for its part must be more proactive in pursuing growth-enhancing policies, and look to reallocate priorities within the overall spending envelope.”