Gareth Thomas, Managing Director of Icon Plastics, a precision plastic injection moulding firm, based at Eaglescliffe in the Tees Valley, said: “It is reassuring overall for the UK economy that the latest GDP figures show a growth of 0.5 percent.

“While manufacturing output remained static, last week’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ report, which revealed UK car manufacturing has hit a record 10-year high, suggests those in the automotive supply chain will buck the general manufacturing trend.”