UK manufacturing – decline is only relative

The Register has a bald chart of UK manufacturing showing steady growth (bar recessions) since WWII. Here’s a look at the detail behind it.

First, the overall manufacturing sector – all figures are an index, where 2005 = 100, and using the 2005 value of money (ie taking inflation into account).

Now look at the detailed sectors

which just shows that Textiles and Leather never recovered after 1979. Strip those out –

and we see Metals, Machinery & Other losing ground since 79 – that’s our heavy industry gone – but the others holding their ground or, especially for Chemicals, Plastics and Electricals, increasing. At least until Gordon’s Bust.