FACTORY output contracted at the start of the year, but economists are forecasting a strong 2015 ahead for the sector.
Manufacturing dropped by 0.5 per cent in January compared with December, according to figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.
Production, which includes quarrying and mining as well as manufacturing, dipped by 0.1 per cent on the month. The production sector makes up 14.6 per cent of GDP. “The fall shouldn’t be of concern, as other business surveys point to positive underlying momentum in manufacturing,” said economist Lee Hopley from manufacturers’ trade body EEF.
A survey of purchasing managers showed that manufacturing activity hit a seven-month high in February.
“Overall, we’re still expecting robust growth in manufacturing this year as global uncertainty levels out and expectations among most manufacturers remain strong.”