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Economic Growth

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL14541, tabled on 13 March 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of Brexit uncertainty on recent statistics suggesting slower growth and smaller investment in UK manufacturing and construction over the last three months.

Answered on

18 March 2019

The Office for National Statistics publish quarterly estimates of manufacturing business investment and monthly estimates for manufacturing output. Latest figures for the third quarter of 2018 show that manufacturing business investment was 4.4% up on the previous quarter but 1.9% down on the third quarter of the previous year. Estimates for the fourth quarter of 2018 will be published on 29th March.

Latest manufacturing output figures for January 2019 report an increase of 0.8% on the previous month, following six months of consecutive declines, though a fall of 1.1% on January of 2019. Looking at the more stable 3 month on 3 month trend output in the 3 months to January 2019 was down by 0.7% on output in the 3 months to October 2018.

Business investment in construction in the third quarter of 2018 was up by 2.1% on the previous quarter though down by 13.5% on the third quarter of 2017. Latest output figures show that construction grew by 0.7% in 2018 and by 2.8% in January 2019, remaining at the record levels reported in the second half of 2018. External forecasts suggest that the industry will continue to grow in 2019 and 2020, led by activity in the infrastructure and private housing sectors.