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Manufacturing ‘recession’ caused by Tory failure to maintain an industrial strategy, says GMB

MANUFACTURING is in recession as a result of the government’s failure to establish a successful industrial strategy, the GMB said today in response to new output figures.

The general union warns that manufacturing workers risk having to pay the price for the Tories’ lack of planning.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the sector has contracted for six months, while manufacturing output fell by 0.9 per cent.

Gross domestic product grew by 0.4 per cent between April and June compared with the first three months of the year, mainly due to retail sales, services and construction. But the rise slowed from 0.3 per cent in May to 0.1 per cent in June.

ONS head of national accounts Rob Kent-Smith pointed out that manufacturing “continued to fall back from its high point at the end of last year.”

A recent GMB study found that Britain’s manufacturing sector has shrunk in the past decade by almost 600,000 jobs to leave fewer than three million workers left.

GMB national officer Ross Murdoch said: “With its shambolic handling of Brexit negotiations and continued infighting, the only thing this government is capable of manufacturing is a meltdown.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell criticised ministers for overseeing low growth and stagnant pay.

He said: “Growth is anaemic, councils are going bankrupt and the NHS is now in permanent crisis while holidaymakers are being hit by the Tories’ falling pound.

“Labour will bring stability to the economy and rising living standards with long-term stable planning and investment and by securing a Brexit deal that puts jobs and the economy first.”

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