Engineering turnover rose in the third quarter of the year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, although there was considerable variation between domestic and overseas sales.
While home turnover rose 2.7% in the third quarter, this was offset by a 0.8% decrease in export sales.
Overall, engineering turnover increased 1.2% since June, up 3.9% on last year’s level, and orders on hand were also up during the quarter, rising 3.7% on the comparable 1998 figure.
The biggest growth area within manufacturing industry was the production of electrical and optical equipment, which has been strong throughout 1999, and saw a 7.2% rise compared with the same period last year. The strength of the sector was largely due to the surge in demand for mobile phones, digital television set-top boxes, internet infrastructure and bespoke network systems for businesses.
However, the picture is not as bright for more traditional industries. Manufacturers of machinery and equipment saw turnover decrease 2.9% compared with last year, largely the result of a fall in export sales, which dropped 7.4% over the same period.