UK manufacturers' sales by product: 2017 intermediate and 2016 final results

Provisional estimates of UK manufacturers' sales of individual products covered by the ProdCom survey.

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Release date:
19 November 2018

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

  • The value of UK manufacturers’ product sales was £380.7 billion in 2017, a 4.1% increase on the 2016 final revised total of £365.7 billion.

  • Manufacturing of food products experienced the largest increase in sales between 2016 and 2017, at £4.2 billion (6.4%), to £69.9 billion.

  • Increases in manufacturers’ sales were also reported within the manufacture of motor vehicles division (£2.6 billion or 4.8%), manufacture of other transport equipment (£2.6 billion or 9.9%) and manufacture of machinery and equipment not elsewhere classified (£2.2 billion or 9.1%).

  • Pharmaceuticals was the only division to show a reduction in sales between 2016 and 2017, decreasing by £1.4 billion (11.2%) to £11.4 billion.

  • This is a shorter bulletin due to the small level of revisions since the data were published as part of provisional results in June 2018; UK manufacturers’ product sales have been revised down £4.2 billion (1.1%) for 2017 due to changes within the manufacture of paper and paper products and the manufacture of furniture.

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2. Things you need to know about this release

Survey background

The UK manufacturers’ sales by product (ProdCom) presents annual statistics on the value and volume of products manufactured in the UK. The ProdCom statistics concern all manufactured products included in the EU ProdCom list. ProdCom differs from UK retail sales; the latter refers to the sales of goods by retail businesses, or consumer purchases.

The survey covers UK businesses active in the mining, quarrying and manufacturing sectors (Standard Industrial Classification 2007: SIC 2007 Sections B and C, Divisions 8 and 10 to 33) and does not cover recycling or energy products.

Division detail

ProdCom has collected data from Division 8 (other mining and quarrying) since 2015, following the cancellation of the Annual Minerals Raised Inquiry (AMRI). These data are included in this bulletin; further information about the background and quality assurance is provided in Improvements in the estimation of product data for other mining and quarrying.

For Division 19 (coke and refined petroleum products), only one product (pitch and pitch coke, obtained from coal tar or from other mineral tars) is included. This product is located in one industry (19100: the manufacture of coke oven products) and there have been no businesses specifically classified to this industry in the ProdCom publication since 2015.

For Division 24 (the manufacture of basic metals), estimates for the manufacture of basic iron and steel and of ferro-alloys are not included in the overall UK ProdCom sales figures or in the divisional total, as these relate to an administrative source that is disclosive. Due to disclosure issues, we have combined Divisions 11 and 12 (beverages and tobacco) for the 2017 reference period to allow for estimates at this level of aggregation to be made available.

Methodological features

When comparing value changes over time, it is important to note that all estimates of the value of product sales are presented at current prices, meaning that they have not been adjusted for inflation. In this release, volume estimates are collected directly from businesses and are provided in units relating to that product, for example, tonnes or kilograms.

Links to other manufacturing data sources are available in Section 3. However, due to differences between sources (for example, coverages, methods or sampling) ProdCom estimates may not always match figures given in other manufacturing data sources.

The ProdCom survey methodology is outlined in the Quality and Methodology Information report and in the ProdCom technical report. Standard errors are available for most products, to inform users of the precision of the estimates. The 2017 intermediate estimates are based on a response rate of 81.3%. Further quality and methodology information is provided in Section 5.

It is sometimes necessary to suppress figures for certain products to avoid disclosing information about an individual business. The ProdCom technical report describes the methods used to safeguard the information provided in confidence to us. Our commentary must also avoid disclosing information about individual businesses.

ProdCom estimates are designated as National Statistics, which means that the data are produced in compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

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3. What’s changed in this release?

Product codes are updated every year to ensure that ProdCom product codes are aligned with the EU Classification of Products by Industry (CPA) and in response to feedback from member states and users.

There have been no further changes to product codes since the 2017 provisional results release on 3 July 2018.

This release details the revised 2017 and final 2016 ProdCom estimates. Due to the small revision and no change in the main messages or trends, this bulletin just details the updated estimates and in place an article focusing on the beverages sector has been released alongside this release. We would welcome feedback on this new approach.

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5. Quality and methodology

ProdCom estimates are based on a sample of businesses surveyed annually. Data are collected through a paper questionnaire from a sample of approximately 21,500 businesses, covering 240 subsectors of the mining, quarrying and manufacturing industry sectors and approximately 3,800 products.

Detailed quality and methodology information is available from the following sources:

  • ProdCom quality indicators pack

  • ProdCom technical report

  • ProdCom Quality and Methodology Information report

All of these publications can be obtained from the related downloads section of the ProdCom background information page.

The ProdCom Quality and Methodology Information report contains important information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data

  • users and users of the data

  • how the output was created

  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data

The report has been recently updated.

The ProdCom technical report describes the methodology and processes used to produce ProdCom estimates. This includes information on sampling procedures, data collection and converting respondent data into published estimates. It complements the ProdCom user guide, which explains the variables and provides guidance on correct data usage, including how to open the data tables.

A report on ProdCom EU methodology is available from Eurostat. Eurostat also provides an annual ProdCom quality report, which contains comprehensive quality information.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Jon Gough
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456720