According to data recently released by the Office for National Statistics, Manufacturing output in the UK decreased by 0.4% in the three months to August compared with the three months to May.
The most significant decreases, in order of importance, were in the chemicals and man-made fibres industries, where output decreased by 1.9% and the paper, printing and publishing industries, where output decreased by 1.7%. The most significant increase was in the electrical and optical equipment industries, where output increased by 2.0%.
Overall production decreased by 0.4% on a three-monthly basis. This combines the 0.4% decrease in manufacturing output with energy supply, which decreased by 0.9%, and mining and quarrying output, which increased by 0.2% due to increases in gas extraction output.
Between July and August, manufacturing output decreased by 0.8%. The most significant decrease occurred in the transport equipment subsector (3.8%), where the largest falls in output were in the manufacture of motor vehicles and the related manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles industries. Other significant decreases occurred in the electrical and optical equipment subsector (2.7%) and the machinery and equipment subsector (3.3%).
The only significant increase between July and August occurred in the chemicals and man-made fibres subsector (4.3%), where the manufacture of medicaments industry returned to more normal levels after a very low July output figure.
The overall Index of Production also decreased by 0.8% between July and August. Mining and quarrying output decreased by 2.2%, mainly due to a decrease in gas extraction output. Energy supply output increased by 1.6% in August with slight falls in gas and water supply being outweighed by a large increase in electricity supply.
Warmer than average temperatures during August increased the demand for electricity and also decreased the demand for gas for heating, while near record rainfall levels in the month reduced the overall demand for water.