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3 January 2013
Unite, the largest union in the country, has called for the government to develop a strategic manufacturing blueprint to build on the improving manufacturing figures.
Unite gave a cautious welcome to the improved manufacturing figures for December highlighted by the Markit/CIPS index – however, the union said there is much more that ministers could do to boost manufacturing in 2013.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said:“For manufacturing to power the economy forward in 2013, we need a strategic manufacturing plan which the government seems a long way off from developing – let alone delivering.
“Unite gives a cautious welcome to the figures for December. Any respite is welcome news for Unite members working in manufacturing.
However, there is no consistent trend upwards. Last year showed that the economy flatlined and we expect 2013 will be 'groundhog day', as far as the economy is concerned.
“At present the government's policy is aping Charles Dicken's Mr Micawber - crossing your fingers and hoping that something will turn up."
Growth in both output and new orders in manufacturing helped to push the headline manufacturing PMI up to 51.4 last month from 49.2 in November. It was the first time the index has shown expansion in the manufacturing sector since March 2012.