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2 minute read with links to each regional insight

Report shows manufacturing positivity across the UK

The third annual Regional Manufacturing Outlook report, produced by EEF in partnership with BDO LLP, pulls together survey results on the health of manufacturing over the past year, comparing and contrasting performance across the eight regions of England, Scotland and Wales.

In recent years the surveys have pointed to a bumpy ride for manufacturing, with output and new orders buffeted by swings in commodity prices and concerns about growth in some part of the world at one time or another.

The past year has also seen some ups and downs, but in a turn for the better, it seems most regions have seen more positive news – particularly in the last couple of quarters.

The Regional Manufacturing Outlook report highlights positivity in every single region of the UK / Picture: Getty/iStock


Stronger growth globally is helping to lift sentiment and activity across the majority of the UK. And this trend is notable in most parts of the country north of the Watford Gap since last year’s EU referendum, with confidence about business performance in the 12 months ahead mounting a healthy recovery.

In their latest report, the two Midlands regions as top performers when it comes to the strength of improvement in output over the previous four quarters. The dominance of the transport sectors and their supply chains, as well as the recent boost to capital goods sectors will have played a part in their rise to the top of the output league table.

Highlights from around the UK

• Number of manufacturers in West Midlands grows by 3.1% – and the number of manufacturing jobs up by 9.9%, more than four times national average
• Number of manufacturers in the North East increase by 3.9% – the fastest growth by any region
• North West manufacturers see major boost in last twelve months – Transport, Food & Drink and Pharma sectors drive increase in performance
• Number of manufacturers in the South West grows by 1.6% with investment intentions up for the third consecutive quarter
• Confidence high in Wales with a robust increase in manufacturing jobs since March 2010 – up 10.6%, the second highest in the UK
• Manufacturing accounts for 17.1% of the East Midlands total output, the region with the highest proportion of manufacturing output in the UK
• Number of manufacturers in the East of England ranks third in the UK for total output – with manufacturing accounting for 12.2%
• Productivity in the South East and London is 122.7% – making it the most productive region in the UK by some way
• Yorkshire & Humber manufacturers see major boost in last year and sees highest manufacturing jobs boost of any UK Region

You can view the information on each individual region from the grid below.


 Link to view

East Midlands


East of England


North East


North West




South East & London


South West




West Midlands


Yorkshire & Humber