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ONS Index of Production Statistics, October 2009

“Today’s flat figures for manufacturing output are something of a disappointment, with the sector still not far removed from the bottom of the recessionary curve as domestic demand in particular remains depressed.

"The PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) data for November revealed similar sentiment, with economists somewhat surprised offshore demand for UK products and sterling weakness had not begun to impact more positively on the sector.

“While this demonstrates manufacturing is at present struggling to generate momentum, we still view the sector as one with great potential for growth coming out of the downturn. Barclays will be looking closely at lending opportunities in the sector in 2010, particularly as discussions with our customers indicate many are seeing increased openings for investment or expansion, which will require bank support’