Greater Birmingham’s manufacturing industry is booming compared to the rest of the UK. Forty per cent of manufacturers reported increased domestic sales in Q2, up from 33 per cent in Q1. That’s in contrast with British Chambers’ Q2 UK figures, where only 20 per cent reported increased domestic sales.
Exports were also higher, with 35 per cent of Birmingham manufacturing firms reporting increases, up from 25 per cent in Q1, compared to only 14 per cent for UK figures.
Birmingham Chamber president Greg Lowson (pictured), head of office at Birmingham lawyers Pinsent Masons, commented: “Today’s figures are disappointing for the UK as a whole; however, considering the results of the Chambers’ Q2 Quarterly Economic Survey, the picture for the Birmingham manufacturing sector is one of resilient productivity.
“With 40 per cent of our manufacturers reporting increased domestic sales and 35 per cent declaring improved export sales, Birmingham continues to impress and cements itself the UK’s manufacturing engine.”
The disappointing UK manufacturing and total industrial output figures for May 2015 were published by ONS. David Kern, Chief Economist of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Although total industrial production is up, this is mainly due to a surge in mining and quarrying, which is a highly volatile sector. Longer term comparisons show that both manufacturing and total industrial production are still well below their pre-recession levels in Q1 2008, in contrast to the thriving services sector.
“Although manufacturing is coping with very difficult global circumstances, the sector is facing serious structural problems. While Eurozone growth prospects have improved recently, the weakness of the euro against the pound has made it harder for UK businesses to compete and Greece’s ongoing problems could exacerbate this.”