The strength of manufacturing is assessed at a national level by using both official statistics and through representative organisations such as the CBI, Chambers of Commerce and the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF). Regular survey reports produced by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing Supply, the Office for National Statistics, the EEF, the CBI and the Bank of England are also utilised.
At regional level, assessment is carried out by using informal discussions with business representative organisations such as the CBI, chambers of commerce and the EEF, as well as regular meetings with agents of the Bank of England. At local authority area level, survey data from chambers, the CBI and economic/labour market reports produced by local authorities or sub-regional partnerships are also utilised. RDAs meet regularly with businesses and officials from the local authorities.