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Manufacturing output in the UK climbs to eighth highest in the world

New analysis by Made UK, which champions engineering and manufacturing in the UK, shows the British manufacturing sector has climbed to eighth place in the world rankings. The UK has overtaken France in manufacturing world rankings, the official data of the latest annual ‘Manufacturing – The Facts’ reveals.

The analysis shows that in 2021, which is the last year that worldwide comparisons in manufacturing are available, the sector in Britain was worth a staggering $272bn. This is significantly more than in France, where manufacturing output in 2021 stood at $262bn. Worth $4.9tn, China is the largest manufacturing nation, followed by the US at $2.5tn, and Japan at $995bn. Germany is the fourth highest manufacturer output in the world, and the biggest in Europe, with an output of $803bn.

Separate data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that in 2022, UK manufacturing output stood at £224bn. Research also confirms that six of the top ten export markets for UK goods remain in the EU. Additionally, aerospace and Transport has seen the highest growth in exports.

According to Make UK, if the Government commits to chasing its call for its manufacturing target of 15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), then the sector could climb to seventh highest in the world, putting Britain ahead of Italy. Make UK has also made repeated calls for a long-term, modern, and robust strategy to help turn the 15% target into a reality.

The North West is home to Britain’s largest manufacturing output, with 314,000 people employed in the sector in the region, collectively creating an output worth £28.2bn. Manufacturing accounts for almost 15% of economic output in the North West, and 8% of regional employment.

Research also confirms that the average salary in manufacturing is almost 10% higher than the average in Britain. The sector across the UK accounts for 2.6m jobs, and 41% of all UK R&D. It also equates to 15% of all UK business investment.

The positive data involving manufacturing in the UK counters the often-negative image portrayed and perceived about the sector, proving that when it comes to manufacturing, Britain is booming.


Phill Machell

Phill Machell, former Executive Director at Michael Page Interim, has been appointed as Partner at Bailey Montagu, one of the UK’s most innovative and respected executive search and interim management firms.