The first official figures for 1997 show last year’s manufacturing output with a sluggish 0.4% growth in the three months to November. Between October and November manufacturing output fell by 0.5% with most sectors showing month on month decreases.
Price rises of manufactured goods slowed in December to their lowest level since October 1986 and prices rose just 1.7% over 12 months compared with 2.1% in November. Costs of materials and fuel rose in November and December due to a price increase in crude oil and a seasonal rise in electricity costs, but the index fell 6% in the year to December.
Electricity sales to industry rose in 1995 to 33%, exceeding the 1990 peak. In its industry review published last week, the Electricity Association says the average prices paid by industrial customers taking more than 8.8m kWh a year, have fallen 17% in real terms since 1989-90. Renewable energy sources supplied 2% of the total electricity in 1995. At the end of 1995, 150 projects under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation gave 333MW capacity.