Official figures for the general rubber goods sector in 2016 showed a continuing decline in overall UK turnover from the 10-year peak attained in 2014 – down from £2.6bn in 2015 to £2.3bn in 2016. Employment fell back from 16k in 2015 to 15k in 2015. The number of firms declined slightly from 544 in 2015 to 529 in 2016. Gross value added, perhaps the real Indicator of the prosperity of our sector, fell sharply from £1.2bn in 2015 to £867m – not much higher than the figure for 2012; however these figures are notoriously volatile and must be taken with a pinch of salt. The experience of our member companies on a like for like basis broadly show some downturn over the period, though anecdotal evidence suggests that over the last year things have improved markedly. It is of note that output in our sister sector – tyre manufacturing – has continued to decline.