Make UK’s new edition of Manufacturing – The Facts, its annual summary of the sector, places UK manufacturing eighth in the world for output, overtaking France and now just behind Italy.
Overall, the sector’s output was worth £224 billion in 2022. Food and drink, usually the single biggest manufacturing sub-sector by value, was equalled last year by chemicals and pharmaceuticals at 15 per cent of gross value added (GVA) each.
These two industries were also in the top three sub-sectors receiving the most investment in 2022 with a combined £10bn, behind engineering and vehicles at £15.7bn.
Internationally, six of the top ten export markets for UK goods remained in the EU, although the largest single destination by value was the US at £56.7bn. The Netherlands (£37bn) leapfrogged Germany (£33 billion) and Ireland (£30bn) into second place compared to last year’s figures. China (£27bn) beat France (25.8bn) to fifth place, despite increasing concerns about the geopolitical risks of trading with the country.
Aerospace and transport saw the largest growth in exports at 27.9 per cent, followed by food and drink (23 per cent) and metals (18.1 per cent).
Regionally, the North West maintained its long-standing position as the UK’s biggest manufacturing area by contributing more value to the sector than any other region at £28.2bn, as well as employing the most people at 314,000.