UK manufacturers' sales by product: 2021 results

Estimates for UK manufacturers’ sales by product (ProdCom) for 2021, including 2020 final sales data.

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Release date:
23 August 2022

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

  • The total value of UK manufacturers’ product sales was £400.8 billion in 2021, an increase of £34.5 billion (9%) from £366.4 billion in 2020, but this remains lower than the 2019 total of £402.2 billion.

  • The manufacture of food remains the largest division (making up 20% of total sales) and showed the largest value increase, up by £5.5 billion (7%) to £79.5 billion; the manufacture of furniture (£7.8 billion) and the manufacture of wood and wood products (£9.0 billion) showed the largest proportional increases in sales, up by 22% and 21%, respectively.

  • Following a decline in 2020, sales of large petrol vehicles (above 1500cc) showed the largest value increase for any single product in 2021, rising by £3.4 billion (20%) to £20.3 billion; this was followed by spark-ignition reciprocating internal combustion piston engines (for vehicles of a cylinder capacity greater than 1000cc), which increased by £0.7 billion (41%) to £2.4 billion.

  • Medicaments for therapeutic or prophylactic uses was another selected product showing an increase in 2021, with sales up by £0.7 billion (9%) to £8.1 billion; the manufacture, installation and repair of military aircraft also increased by £0.6 billion (11%) to £6.4 billion.

  • In 2021, the manufacture of other transport equipment saw sales decline by £1.0 billion (4%) to £25.8 billion, mainly because of falling sales within the manufacture of aircraft and spacecraft; the manufacture of wearing apparel also showed a decline of £0.1 billion (8%) to £1.3 billion.

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2. UK manufacturers’ sales by product data

UK manufacturers' sales by product
Dataset | Released 23 August 2022
Annual estimates for UK manufacturers' sales by product covered by the ProdCom survey.

UK manufacturers' sales by product - quality indicators
Dataset | Released 23 August 2022
Annual indicators on standard errors, response rates, revisions and any product code changes for the ProdCom survey, UK.

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3. Measuring the data

Coronavirus (COVID-19) related manufacturing

Increases in the production of some goods related to the coronavirus pandemic, for example personal protective equipment (PPE), may have occurred. However, if these were donated or offered charitably, the production would not be reflected in this release because it is only capturing volume of sales and turnover generated from the sale of manufactured products.

Data collection and sources

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

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.

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. This is because they relate to an administrative source that is disclosive. Because of disclosure issues, we have combined Divisions 11 and 12 (beverages and tobacco) to allow for estimates at this level of aggregation to be made available.

Quality and methodology

The ProdCom survey methodology is outlined in our UK Manufacturers' Sales by Product Survey (ProdCom) QMI. Standard errors are available for most products to inform users of the precision of the estimates.

The 2021 estimates are based on a response rate of 68.9%.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Daniel Robinson
Telephone: +44 1633 455718