Monday 18th December 2017
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Manufacturers end the year with a flourish

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Manufacturers in the East of England are ending the year on a high note with strong international demand helping to push output and recruitment to its highest level in three years. The EEF/BDO fourth quarter manufacturing outlook survey showed orders in the East were the highest of any UK region at a balance of +52 per cent, thanks to increasing demand from Europe and other growing markets. Output in the East, at +48 per cent, was the second highest of any UK region and recruitment intentions rose to +35 per cent.

Investment intentions also picked up for the third quarter running to +26 per cent. Business confidence amongst East of England manufacturers rose for the third quarter running and the EEF has upgraded its forecasts for the sector to +2.1 per cent in 2017 and 1.4 per cent in 2018.

Keith Ferguson, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in the East of England, said: “Manufacturers in the East of England have continued their strong performance into the final quarter of 2017, ending the year with plenty of festive cheer. The sector’s performance is being driven by increasing demand from around the world, in particular Europe. The task of government is very clear: it needs to deliver a Brexit that minimises disruption to manufacturers – they are the economic engine of the UK economy."

Charlotte Horobin, region director for EEF in the East of England, said:“Stronger global growth has cemented the foundations for growth in manufacturing this year, but the sector’s contribution to the UK economy has been greater than most 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 in 2017.

“There is some confidence that this momentum will carry into 2018, but as we head towards the Brexit end game we need manufacturing to produce the same trick of broad based growth again next year. As we see more companies investing and capitalising on global growth, we’ve become more upbeat in our forecasts for the growth outlook. Government’s industrial strategy is now out of the starting blocks but it needs to maintain a steady pace on delivery of its policy commitments to anchor manufacturers’ growth and investment in the year ahead.”

Keith Ferguson, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in the East of England, added: “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 to 20 years), avoiding the disruptions of political cycles and encouraging manufacturers to commit to significant capital investments to boost growth and productivity.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 December 2017 08:41 )