Staffing at UK Factories Lags EU Counterparts by 28pts

The return of employees to manufacturing facilities across the UK has stalled since June, with presence failing to recover beyond 60% of last year’s levels. By contrast, this seasonally-adjusted measure of daily worker presence also shows presence regaining 75% in July and growing to over 80% this month.

The UK started the year enthusiastically at up to 15% above year-year levels, and went into lockdown around 10 days prior to its European counterparts. It also began its recovery sooner seeing 60% of 2019 levels by June. UK growth has since stalled, while those in Europe have moved up to 30pts ahead.

Differences arise from the mix of manufacturing industries present in the UK / Continental Europe, each meeting the challenges of Covid in different ways. Differing policies, attitudes, case-levels and government advice may also play a role. As Brexit again features in debate attention turns to how the UK’s handling of the crisis impacts its economic performance vis à the club that it has just left.

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