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UK automation sector grew by a ‘record’ 14% during 2017

27 June, 2018

The UK’s industrial automation sector achieved record growth during 2017, with a 14% improvement over the previous year, according to figures issued by Gambica, the trade body that represents the sector. This growth, recorded by members of Gambica’s automation division, has returned the sector to the level that it would have been at without a downturn in 2015 that was thought to be due largely to political and economic uncertainty.

According to Gambica, automation projects that had previously been put on hold, have now gone ahead. Another factor contributing to the record growth has been the relatively weak value of sterling, which helped to boost exports.

The second sector represented by Gambica – process instrumentation and control – continued to recover from the sharp decline it suffered in 2015 as a result of the oil price crash. Growth during 2017 amounted to more than 10%. Expenditure in the oil and gas sector has remained flat, with major gains being led by the pharmaceuticals sector, followed by the water, and food and beverage sectors. Expenditure in the chemical sector has also continued to show steady growth, underpinned by a focus on r&d, and improvements aimed at preserving the UK’s competitive edge in the global market.

Gambica’s final sector – laboratory technology – achieved a growth of 8.9% in 2017, the strongest since the organisation started to collect data in 2005. When export figures are removed from this growth rate, there was an even stronger expansion for the UK market alone.

All three of Gambica's divisions recorded growth during 2017, with a combined performance that was the strongest for a decade

Gambica also produces a combined figure for all of its divisions, which shows a growth of 9.3% in 2017 – the strongest for 10 years and a second year of expansion for all three sectors.

The Gambica Index uses 2012 as its reference point.

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