Businesses, public funding bodies and government all spent less on R&D in Britain in 1996 than in the previous year.
Only overseas companies contributed to any significant increase in R&D spending, with funding up nearly 10% in real terms over the year. The share of the overseas contribution to overall UK R&D has increased from about 10% in 1989 to more than 16% in 1996. The figures show real-terms total spending on R&D slipping 2%, with R&D spending as a share of GNP falling for the third year running.
Across the UK as a whole, business carried out 65% of R&D activity in 1996, while universities accounted for 19% and government 10% respectively.
Meanwhile, latest official figures show that turnover of the engineering industries in the three months to January was 1% less than in the previous three months.
Home turnover fell nearly 1.5%, while export turnover edged down 0.3%. Machinery and equipment makers saw sales fall almost 2% over the same period, with UK turnover crashing by 4.3%. The overall turnover level is 3.6% less than 12 months ago.