UK manufacturing output fell by 13.8% in February compared to prior year, the largest decline since the manufacturing shut down of 1980/81. Comparing the cycles, the slow down is clearly surpassing the recession of the 1990’s but is yet to equal the drastic manufacturing shut down of the 1980’s. It's getting close!
Worst hit sectors were consumer durables (-21.3%) and capital goods (-16.9%) with engineering and basic metal sectors down by 19% and 19.8% respectively.
Consumer non durables, (-5%), textiles (-5.4%) and food and drink (-4%) were relatively lightly hit. Fuel products, the only sector showing growth up by just 1%.
For the quarter as a whole we anticipate a fall in manufacturing output of 13.5% with the slow down moderating into the second quarter. For the year as a whole, the assumption is for a fall in output of around 10%. This compares to a peak four quarter loss of 12% in 1980/1981. Not there yet but close.
Office for National Statistics ; Index of Production Latest Release.