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Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

24. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of the level of activity in the manufacturing sector. (322209)

Manufacturing is a key part of the economy, accounting for over 13 per cent. of output and over 50 per cent. of exports. In common with other economies, UK manufacturers were hit hard by the global recession. However, manufacturing output grew by 0.8 per cent. in the last quarter of 2009 and private business surveys suggest that the outlook for manufacturing continues to improve.