07 August 2012
Late bank holiday and Jubilee dent manufacturing output
A late bank holiday May Day and the Jubilee were cited as contributing to a fall in the UK's official manufacturing output figures for June -- but, says one expert, it might have been worse.
The Index of Manufacturing output from the Office for National Statistics fell by 4.3% in June 2012 compared with June 2011 and for the month of June itself, fel by 2.9% when compared with May.
The ONS said moving of the late May 2012 bank holiday to June 2012 and the additional bank holiday for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were likely contributing factors to the month on month decline.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said: "June's sharp fall in output, which was fairly broad-based across all parts of manufacturing, was to be expected given the disruptions to working patterns over the extra holidays. While the fall didn't turn out to be quite as steep as indicated by the GDP estimates last month, the data ultimately tell us relatively little about the underlying state of the sector.
"Our feedback suggests that confidence remains fragile, but there are still bright spots to be found in some export markets. The question is whether July's data will confirm that output was simply displaced or if this is the beginning of a more worrying downward trend."
EEF (Engineering Employers Federation)
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