UK manufacturing vs. the world's heavyweights

26th July 2017
Source: Datawright
Posted By : Anna Flockett
UK manufacturing vs. the world's heavyweights

In the UK alone, manufacturing contributes £6.7tn to the global economy; which is an especially impressive figure when you consider how the country is dwarfed in size by many other nations across the globe. To find out just how the UK’s manufacturing output measures up to the rest of the world, provider of process manufacturing software, Datawright, has taken a look at the UK’s productivity in comparison to some of Earth’s heavyweights where manufacturing is concerned…

Manufacturing in the UK
A House of Commons briefing paper states the UK has the ninth highest manufacturing output across the globe, in-line with the most recent manufacturing data available. While ranking ninth out of 237 countries is still a strong position to be in, it still shows a decrease from previous years. Between 1970 and 2004, the UK’s rank generally stayed around fifth and sixth position.

Manufacturing output across the UK was worth $247bn alone in 2014. When broken down, this equates to $3,800 on a head-by-head basis. However, the per-head figure does not provide an accurate point of comparison due to populations varying between countries.

It should also be noted that 11% of all of the UK’s national economic output is accounted for by manufacturing, as well as three per cent of global manufacturing.

Manufacturing in China
The highest manufacturing output of all countries across the world came from China in 2014 - worth $1.9tn overall. Eclipsing the UK’s humble 11%, manufacturing makes up 28% of the country’s entire national output. On a global scale, this contributes 19%- almost one fifth - to world manufacturing.

With a population of around 1.37 billion people, China’s manufacturing output per head is significantly lower than the UK, standing at $1,400.

Manufacturing in the US
The US is credited with having the second highest manufacturing output, with a figure of $1.8tn recorded. However, despite the similarities between these totals, the US output-per-head breakdown is significantly higher at $5,700 — a result of America’s smaller population size.

The USA also has the same percentage of world manufacturing as that recorded by China — at 19% - but it should be acknowledged that manufacturing contributes to only 12% of the USA’s national output. Whereas China’s output was more than double at 28%, this stark difference shows how manufacturing is less of a priority to the US’ economy.

Manufacturing in Japan
Japan completes the top three spots in the manufacturing output league table, thanks to a figure of just over $1tn. Per head, this equates to $7,900. In total, Japan’s manufacturing efforts make up 19% of the country’s national output, and ten percent of the worldwide output.

Manufacturing in Germany
Missing out on the top three in the manufacturing output league table was Germany. Despite being significantly ahead of fifth place company South Korea, Germany is considerably behind Japan in terms of manufacturing output. Compared to Japan’s $1tn, Germany’s manufacturing output is more than $300bn less, at $680bn.

This figure works out at $8,400 when looking at output per head. Overall, manufacturing makes up 23% of Germany’s national output and seven percent of the global total.

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