Most manufacturing sectors increased output in the three months to April, compared with the previous quarter. Overall, manufacturing output increased by 0.7%. Highest growth was in the coke, oil refining and nuclear fuel sectors on 4.4%; transport equipment on 2.9%; and metals and metal products on 1.2%. Output of machinery and equipment fell 0.9%.
Manufacturing employment, nominally up 12,000 from March to April, has essentially been stuck at 3.94m since late 1995. Productivity (the manufacturing output per head) rose 1.9% in the three months to April, compared with a year earlier, continuing a gently rising trend.
Deliveries of rolled carbon steel products (excluding stainless) from Europe for the home market and export fell by around 4% to 107Mt in 1996, according to the European confederation of iron and steel industries, Eurofer.
However, imports from central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union fell.
Overcapacity is still a problem, but crude steel capacity fell 6.7Mt in 1996. Up to 2000, a fall of 2.6Mt is expected in long products but capacity for flat products and hot rolled coil is expected to increase, says Eurofer.