TRENDS

Producer prices continued their recovery in October, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. But the picture varies greatly between different sectors. Overall, factory gate prices for goods except food, drink, tobacco and petrol rose 0.6%, but stayed 0.7% below last year’s level. Machinery prices stayed constant, electrical and optical goods prices fell […]

Producer prices continued their recovery in October, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. But the picture varies greatly between different sectors.

Overall, factory gate prices for goods except food, drink, tobacco and petrol rose 0.6%, but stayed 0.7% below last year’s level. Machinery prices stayed constant, electrical and optical goods prices fell and petroleum products prices continued their recent upward trend.

Meanwhile, the UK industrial fasteners market is likely to grow in line with the economy as a whole over the next five years, according to market research firm MBD. The sector benefited from growth in the automotive industry in the mid-1990s, but growth is likely to be constrained by the rate of expansion in UK industry as a whole.

The UK is a net importer of fastenings, and imports rose a little during the mid-1990s as production failed to keep up with demand. The high value of sterling is likely to constrain UK manufacturers’ ability to compete with importers, MBD says.

The fastenings industry is highly fragmented, with plenty of opportunity for consolidation. MBD predicts a gradual movement of market share towards large firms supplying a wide range of products.