By John Willman; Edited by Natalie Evans
Though many people find it hard to believe, the UK is still a major manufacturing economy – the sixth largest in the world. While manufacturing’s share of national income has steadily declined over recent decades, its output was steadily rising until the recession that followed the recent financial crisis. Manufacturers play a vital role in the British economy, providing 2.6 million jobs and around half of export earnings. Sustaining a competitive manufacturing industry in the next few years should be a priority as the economy struggles back to growth.