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22 October, 2017

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UK automation sector returned to growth in 2016

24 July, 2017

The UK’s industrial automation sector returned to growth in 2016, with a 2.2% improvement on the previous year, according to the latest statistics from the sector’s trade organisation, Gambica. It attributes the growth to the low sterling exchange rate which boosted sales in the second half of the year, and to some relief from the political and economic uncertainty that was thought to be the main cause of the downturn in 2015.

The Gambica Index, which indicates the level of business in the three sectors that the organisation covers – process instrumentation and control, laboratory technology, as well as industrial automation – shows that there was recovery across all three sectors during 2016.

The combined Index records a 5.2% growth in 2016 – the strongest rate in the past four years and a recovery from a dip in 2015. Factors such as increased exports, UK investments, and restarting major projects that were postponed in 2015, contributed to all three sectors showing growth in 2016.

The process instrumentation and control sector recovered from a sharp decline in 2015 caused by the oil price crash, to record a “significant” growth of almost 12% during 2016. While the oil and gas market has recovered slightly – mainly on activities in the service and spares markets – Gambica attributes the growth of the sector mainly to increased investment in the water, waste, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals industries.

The Gambica Index shows the levels of all three sectors that the organisation represents, both individually and combined, using 2006 as a reference point.

The laboratory technology sector expanded by 6.4% in 2016 – its strongest growth for four years, with both UK and export sales growing at an increased rate compared to 2015, The past five years have seen an average growth of over 5% each year in this sector.




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