Almost two thirds of growth in UK manufacturing fuelled by UK electronics sector

According to a new report, The UK electronics sector experienced the fastest growth of any manufacturing sector in 2018.

The report, carried out by Santander and Make UK, highlights significant growth in 2017 and 2018: up 4.4% and 12.4% respectively. Despite representing less than 5% of UK manufacturing output, the sector generated an impressive £19.4bn in turnover and £8.4bn in gross value added (GVA) in 2017.

The four key areas that the report identifies as presenting opportunities for continued growth for UK firms are:

  • Products required for increasing number of new smarter devices
  • The rise of digital medicines
  • Export demand from relatively untapped markets like Asia; and
  • The roll-out of 5G across the UK’s main cities.

Paul Brooks, head of UK manufacturing at Santander UK said, “The UK electronics sector continues to punch above its weight and, with the fast growth in technology, is well placed to cement itself as a core manufacturing sector.

“Increased automation and new technologies are linked to the success, but the sector needs to remain focused on growth, being agile and developing cutting-edge products to drive increasingly powerful and smart digital technologies. Santander is committed to supporting UK electronics firms as they look to invest for growth and capitalise on export opportunities in markets such as Asia.”

The report doesn’t come without warnings though as UK electronics companies are advised that there is sustained competition from overseas firms, in particular China. The sector also continues to import much more than it exports: the sector imports 50% of supply and exports over a quarter (26%) of output, making it the most import intensive in UK manufacturing.

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