British manufacturing continued its climb up the global rankings as growth returned last year, according to facts and figures published today by EEF and Santander.
Launching the 2017 manufacturing fact card, the new data shows that Britain is now the 8th largest industrial nation with an annual output now worth $249bn, up from 9th place last year.
In the post-Brexit world, manufacturing will increasingly provide Britain’s link to the world, currently generating 44% of total UK exports.
The sector is also vital for the nation’s future source of income, undertaking some 70% of total R&D by Britain’s businesses.
Data around employment is equally impressive, with 2.6million people working within the manufacturing sector across the country.
The largest individual sector is food and drink, accounting for 16%, while the chemicals and pharmaceuticals and transport sectors both account for 14% of output each.
It is these two sectors which also head up the manufacturing innovation league table, with ONS figures revealing that pharmaceuticals
As a sector, the manufacturing good news story continues into comparable pay rates, offering higher wages than other sectors with highly paid, highly skilled jobs.
Average earnings have increased from £31,489 to £32,047, still sitting well above the
Manufacturing is spread across the country – the North West remains the biggest regional powerhouse, producing over £24bn output.
Manufacturing also helps power the engine of the West Midlands with £17.5bn of output and the East Midlands with £15.9bn - their strongest areas being aerospace and automotive sectors.
The UK’s largest single export destination is the United States, followed by Germany and then France.
Lee Hopley, chief economist of EEF, said: “With
“Our latest annual fact card reveals that manufacturing’s share of the economy remains stable at 10%, but the sector makes a much larger contribution to vital exports and innovation.
“With the focus on industrial strategy, this year we highlight the varying strengths we see across manufacturing sub-sectors, from the strong R&D performance of pharmaceuticals and transport to the high export intensity of machinery and chemicals.”
Paul Brooks, head of manufacturing at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “Manufacturing remains a key part of the UK economy and it is really encouraging to see that the UK is now the 8th largest manufacturer by output in the
“With strong manufacturing figures reported from across the country, it is crucial that we continue to support manufacturers in all regions of the UK.
“Despite uncertainty around Brexit, manufacturers are seizing opportunities to increase their now more competitive exports, with the sector accounting for 44% of UK exports.
“With the top 10 export destinations featuring markets both within and outside of the EU, Santander is committed to helping manufacturers reach new ma
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