As Brexit negotiations begin this week, research has shown that British manufacturing companies are optimistic about the rest of 2017 and are experiencing strong growth with exports up.
Research by the manufacturing organisation, the EEF and accountancy firm BDO has revealed that confidence is high despite Brexit fears.
Almost 400 firms were questioned for the quarterly survey and it was revealed that three out of five reported an increase in demand for goods from European markets.
The EEF has now revised its forecasts upwards for the rest of the year and 2018, commenting that manufacturing was now predicted to expand by 1.3 per cent in 2017 and 0.5 per cent next year.
Output and orders balances were said to remain healthy across all sectors
Commenting on the survey, EEF Chief Economist, Ms Lee Hopley, said:
“Our survey marks another quarter of positive news about growth prospects for UK manufacturers. Industry is reporting that output and orders have continued to head higher in recent months and the recovery in manufacturing globally is a big part of the story. It’s very encouraging that UK manufacturers have positioned themselves to capitalise on the windfall of a competitive pound and resurgent world economy.”
The EEF warned, however that further growth cannot be guaranteed based on the uncertainty ahead and identified factors as the continued likely squeeze on household incomes and the possibility of no deal on Brexit which could both damage trade.
In response EEF is urging the new Government to press ahead as a matter of urgency with a bold industrial strategy to help cement long-term growth prospects for the sector.
Lee Hopley adds:
“While growth and confidence hasn’t been knocked off track by the snap election, it is not plain sailing from here. There is the continuing challenge of managing input cost increases; ensuring success in attracting and retaining the skills that are in increasing demand and driving up investment in the sector. Whoever forms the next Government must set in stone as a matter of urgency a bold industrial strategy that will help cement the foundations for long-term growth for industry.”
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