Tony Burke notes: “This week’s figures on manufacturing growth from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) proved to be weaker than expected and they demonstrate the need of a robust manufacturing strategy and leadership from the government – neither of which is happening.
The ONS published figures on Friday showed that manufacturing output rose by 0.3 per cent in December last year – less than the 0.6 per cent predicted.
“On top of that news comes a warning that lagging productivity poses a risk for the UK’s medium term outlook and recovery.
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has warned that low productivity would continue to pose a challenge for the economic outlook as it limits wage growth.
“Our forecast remains one of a gradual improvement in productivity, but continued stagnation poses a downside risk to the UK’s medium-term prospects,” NIESR said.
The NIESR also pointed out that growth was being fuelled by the housing market – and it expects this will continue for the next two years.
This is hardly a basis for re-balancing the economy as current growth and rising employment (through agency and temporary work) has not brought about an upturn in productivity.
The fact is that the figures paint a more realistic picture of what is happening in the economy than that being spun by the government and the media.” (http://www.leftfootforward.org/2014/02/the-other-british-economy-low-productivity-and-no-manufacturing-strategy/)