A surge in manufacturing has contributed to better-than-expected GDP, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS reports manufacturing growth of 2.4% as being the greatest contributor to production, with the pharmaceutical and transport industries performing particularly well:
“The manufacturing sector saw growth in 11 of its 13 subsectors…with manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations the largest contributor to growth, growing 7.9% in June 2023. Notable growth was also seen in the manufacture of transport equipment, which grew 4.8% in June 2023.”
It added that the manufacture of semi-trailers, trailers, and motor vehicles in June increased by 8.5%. The automotive sector has been performing particularly well recently as supply chain issues started to abate.
The ONS also revised its previous estimate for manufacturing in May, from a fall of 0.3% to a fall of just 0.1%. This drop in manufacturing activity is largely attributed to the extra bank holiday, as part of the celebrations for King Charles III’s coronation.
Overall, the wider economy grew a little more than expected at 0.2% during the second quarter. This also implies that the Bank of England’s forecast of 0.4% growth in the third quarter, which some thought might be optimistic at the time, is achievable.
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