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Report reveals 'True Impact' of manufacturing

13 April 2018

Manufacturing accounts for almost a quarter of the economy - and more than 7.4 million jobs depend on it - according to research commissioned by the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

The study by Oxford Economics has taken into account the full impact of the UK’s manufacturing economy, including the indirect effect of increasingly complex supply chains and the induced effect of the spending that manufacturers wages create in the economy.  

The figures show that the sector is responsible for 23% of UK GDP, more than double the figure that is often quoted.

“This report clearly demonstrates that anyone who says that manufacturing doesn’t matter much to the UK’s economy is badly mistaken,” explains James Selka, CEO of the MTA.

“The figures that people often quote setting manufacturing alongside the service sector miss the point that a huge part of the service sector – from logistics, to research, to catering – serves manufacturing. The impact is felt far outside factory gates in offices, laboratories, shops and warehouses right across the country. For every £1 million the manufacturing sector contributes to GDP itself, it creates another £1.5 million elsewhere in the UK economy and for every direct job within the sector, another 1.8 are supported elsewhere in the UK economy”

Selka continues: “Manufacturing creates a wealth that is irreplaceable and we need to make sure that Government policies promote and grow it.” 

The MTA Report includes statistics about industry’s contribution to the UK’s export performance (48% of exports are manufactured goods) and R&D investment, with manufacturers accounting for almost 70% of the total spend. 

“There is an opportunity, through the Industrial Strategy, to increase productivity levels and to help the UK economy grow and boost our exports by encouraging manufacturing investment to take advantage of new technologies such as Big Data, AI and Additive Manufacturing,” adds Selka.