• Manufacturing output in November 2011 down 0.2% on the month; down 0.6% on the year

Commenting on the manufacturing output figures for November, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures are disappointing, but largely as expected given the difficult economic circumstances we are currently facing. Domestic demand has been squeezed by the government’s austerity plan, and combined with problems in the eurozone it is not surprising that the sector has recorded a decline. There is no need for undue pessimism about the future of manufacturing, as many firms preserved their skills base during the recession. But, there will be serious challenges in the months ahead, particularly for those that rely heavily on exports to the eurozone.

“Every effort must now be made to contain the downward pressures on the economy and sustain confidence. We hope the MPC will announce an increase in the QE programme, which will help to maintain the competitiveness of UK exports. This is especially important since the pound has strengthened by some six per cent against the euro in the last three months, which adds to the pressures facing exporters. Furthermore, the government must act quickly to introduce credit easing measures to help improve the flow of credit to viable businesses.”