After a strong start to 2015, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show business investment by fashion and textiles businesses fell substantially in the final half of the year as the annual of £193m was the lowest since 2010 and the fifth successive year of decline although investment levels remain higher than they did in 2009 and 2010 following the recessionary pressures of those years. This is also despite the improving export and employment figures within the sector.
In comparison, wider manufacturing has seen steady rises in investment to now stand at just under £25bn in 2015.
Figure 1: Business Investment in £m (chained volume measure. Reference year 2012)Source: Office for National Statistics
Focussing on the quartely figures, q1 and q2 2015 had shown impressive growth in investment rates until q3 and q4 saw a steep decline. Q4s investment figure was the lowest since q4 2010 although it is traditionally a quarter that does seen investment decline. Whether this is part of a natural pattern or a symptom of the wider declining economic outlook in recent months will be interesting to see in the first quarter 2016 figures when produced.
Figure 2: Business Investment by qtr in £m (Chained Volume Measure. Seasonally Adjusted. Reference year 2012)Source: Office for National Statistics