Manufacturers end year on a positive note

Posted on 21 Dec 2017 and read 327 times
Manufacturers end year on a positive note Britain’s manufacturers are ending the year on the back of a continued improvement in global demand and increased export performance, according to the latest survey published by EEF (the manufacturers’ organisation) (www.eef.org.uk) and accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.

According to the Manufacturing Outlook Q4 survey, manufacturers are continuing to ignore the on-going political uncertainty at home as improved global demand — from European markets in particular — and the increase in commodity prices are feeding growth across the manufacturing supply chain. This, in turn, is compensating for weaker UK demand.

This strong performance — across all sectors and regions — has led EEF to upgrade its growth forecasts for manufacturing for this year and next, meaning that the sector will out-perform the economy overall. Furthermore, the positive conditions in the fourth quarter mean that 2017 will be the first year since the financial crisis that both output and order balances have been positive in every quarter.

EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: “Stronger global growth has cemented the foundations for growth in UK manufacturing this year, but the sector’s contribution to the UK economy has been greater than most economists expected.

“Not only have we seen consistently positive survey responses in each quarter this year, but growth has been evident across all industry segments and UK regions.”

BDO’s Tom Lawton said: “Manufacturers have continued their strong performance into the final quarter of 2017. The sector’s performance is being driven by increasing demand from around the world, in particular Europe.

“It is encouraging for manufacturers to now see further detail of the Government’s long-awaited Industrial Strategy.

“However, it is critical that the Government commits to the strategy over the long term — 15-20 years — avoiding the disruptions of political cycles and encouraging manufacturers to commit to significant capital investments to boost growth and productivity.”

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