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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the most recent industrial and manufacturing production figures; and what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's policies on the levels of industrial production and manufacturing.
The latest official figures for October 2011 show that manufacturing output fell by 0.7% in the three months to October 2011 compared with the previous three months, the first fall on this basis since October 2009. However, this is still 0.9% higher than the same period last year.
We recognise that the overall economic position is very difficult given the legacy and the external environment but we are determined to promote recovery. In the Autumn Statement last week, the Government announced a wide-ranging package building on the programme of reforms set out in the Plan for Growth, including £5 billion in new commitments to improve UK transport and broadband networks, as well as steps to attract major private sector investment.