Royal wedding celebrations hit factory output


Britain's factory output slumped in April as workers downed tools to enjoy the royal wedding and an extra day's holiday, while production was also hit by the disruption to supply chains from Japan's earthquake, according to the UK Telegraph.

Some UK companies shut down totally over the 11-day stretch running into the start of May, which included just three working days.

These “one-off” factors helped manufacturing output suffer its biggest monthly fall in more than two years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

However, the size of the decline raised fears that the resurgent manufacturing sector is seeing an underlying slowdown as demand weakens locally and abroad.

UK manufacturing output was down 1.5pc on the previous month, its sharpest drop since January 2009. A wider measure of industrial output, which includes more volatile elements such as mining and utilities, was down 1.7pc month-on-month.

"It is difficult to interpret the current underlying trend in the sector from these figures, but there is plenty of evidence that growth is continuing to moderate," said Hetal Mehta, UK economist at Daiwa Capital. "We certainly do not expect manufacturing to make as big a contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) growth in Q2 as in Q1."

Related news & editorials

  1. 18.07.2018
    by      In
    3D printing with metals is affecting the way manufacturing occurs, and Australian distributor Raymax Applications reckons this is amply demonstrated by the application of SLM Solutions machines in metal manufacturing processes.
    SLM Solutions Group recently released its fourth generation 280 system... Read More
  2. 16.03.2018
    by      In
    In the 1960s, as much as a quarter of Australia’s workforce was employed in the manufacturing sector, and the industry fuelled 25% of the nation’s economy, according to the Productivity Commission. Half a century on, the closure of Toyota, Ford and then General Motors in October 2017 seemed to... Read More
  3. 24.01.2018
    by      In
    According to Southern Cross CEO, Mark Ferguson, if Australian industry really wants to get serious about saving energy then it needs to take a close look at ‘two-stage’, air compressor technology. As energy costs continue to outstrip other business input expenses it is critical, more than ever... Read More
  4. Martin Chappell
    by      In
    With Australia’s manufacturing industry strengthening, leaders and heads of IT are weighing up which new technologies they should implement to gain a competitive edge. Martin Chappell from Motorola Solutions explains how a simpler and more focused use of data can be the best approach.
    Australia’s... Read More