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Reviving British Manufacturing: Why? What? How?

Alan Reece, July 2011

Alan Reece, an academic-turned-successful-manufacturer, argues that we must revive our manufacturing industry. However, the problems are enormous. Between 1997 and 2008 manufacturing output remained flat at around GBP150 billion a year. Allowing for inflation, this represents a real reduction of around GBP3.5 billion a year. Alan Reece argues that we need to increase our output of goods by GBP10 billion a year for ten years, increasing the workforce employed in manufacturing by 200,000 a year. Exports are vital to our economy, but difficult to increase substantially, given the weaknesses of the British manufacturing base now. A more realistic policy for fixing the balance of payments is to import less, by producing more goods, food and energy for the home market. Alan Reece calls for a Minister for Economic Growth, with Cabinet rank, whose sole purpose would be to ensure that each quarterly trade deficit in goods should be smaller than the last one.

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