“Manufacturing output increased by 2.9% in September according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. Growth for the quarter was just over 3%, which is slightly below the first estimate suggested in the preliminary GDP release.
“Our forecasts for the year remain unchanged; we expect GDP to increase by 3.1% for the year as a whole, supported by a 3.7% expansion in manufacturing output. Despite the fears for export growth particularly to the Euro zone, manufacturing is demonstrating a significant recovery this year, supported by strong growth in motor, marine and aerospace.
“Capital goods output increased by 3.7% in the month, and a remarkable 11% growth was recorded in consumer durables output in September, up almost 10% in the quarter. It is possible the strength of the housing market is boosting output in the household durables sector.
“Energy and utilities continue to be a drag on growth and overall manufacturing output remains some 4.5% below the peak recorded in January 2008. Despite fears for the recovery, the latest data confirms the recovery is on track as suggested in the Manchester Index™ derived from the influential Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey.”