James Moore: Let cash from Lloyds sell-off go to help manufacturing


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The Independent Online

For once, there is a bit of optimism surrounding British manufacturing. Yesterday’s Purchasing Managers Index on factory output was a shade below analysts’ forecasts. But the data on future orders were very positive.

Right on cue Mr Cable’s shadow Chuka Umunna announces something grandiosely called “Labour’s agenda 2030”, before the Engineering Employers Federation, the manufacturers’ trade body. Unsurprisingly it’s rather longer on principles than it is on specifics.

The Government’s response will likely come with the budget in a couple of weeks but one measure both might consider is diverting some of the profits from the forthcoming Lloyds privatisation towards a stimulus package for the sector. The sun is shining on manufacturers, but it needs to stay there if the UK is to rebalance its economy.