Six out of 14 UK sectors recorded output growth in February – up from three recorded in January, with technology equipment manufacturers leading the way.
This is according to findings from the latest Lloyds Bank UK Recovery Tracker, using information provided by IHS Markit.
Technology equipment manufacturers, which include producers of specialist parts in smart devices, motor vehicles, computers and industrial machinery, cited higher international demand for components. As a result, it was the only UK sector monitored by the Tracker to register a rise in new export orders during February.
The second-best performing sector during last month were food and drink manufacturers, with growth driven by continuing strong demand from domestic retailers, while the healthcare sector benefitted from demand for goods and services that support the UK’s COVID-19 vaccine programme.
Jeavon Lolay, Head of Economics and Market Insight, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said, “It is encouraging to see a rising number of UK sectors register output growth in February, despite the challenging lockdown conditions. It highlights both strong global demand and how well UK businesses and households have adapted to tough restrictions on mobility. It suggests that a modest rise in monthly UK GDP is possible in February, after the smaller-than-expected decline in January.
“However, February’s data also shows that the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is tied to more than just the stringency of lockdown restrictions, which disproportionately affect consumer-facing services sectors. Manufacturers are facing into a more challenging export environment and the global supply chain disruption currently holding many firms back looks set to continue.”
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