Manfacturing output in Wales remains ahead of the rest of the UK, according to the latest official figures. Sharp increases, of 21%, in coke and refined petroleum products in the 12 months to the third quarter of 1996 helped push up total output. Machinery and equipment output was up 6% and electrical and optical equipment up 3%. Chemicals fell by 5.3% over the same period.
The rise in prices of manufactured goods continues to slow across the UK. Prices were up 1.3% in the 12 months to February 1997, compared with 1.5 % in January – the lowest rate of increase since October 1986.
The UK’s deficit on trade in goods recovered in December to £0.8bn, from £1bn in November, but Government statisticians point out erratic patterns make it difficult to estimate the trend. For exports all the main commodity groups except basic materials and semi-manufactures rose in volume. Imports across all the main commodity groups except semi-manufactures also rose.
Airbus Industrie’s forecasts for the world airliner market show geographical redistribution over the next 20 years, with a falling share of seat capacity in North America. Airbus expects Asia-Pacific still to dominate the large-aircraft market.