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Upturn in exports brightens mixed picture for manufacturers

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Manufacturers in the East of England has seen a downward drift in output balances and a 'slightly more subdued outlook' although orders remain strong thanks to a pick-up in export business, says a sector survey from EEF and BDO.

It says political uncertainty, slower global growth and a weaker construction sector is behind a fall in output from +32% at the start of this year to +6%. However total orders remained ‘very strong’ at +41%, thanks to more overseas orders. Intentions to recruit and invest has also slowed as reflection national political uncertainty and EEF has cut its forecast of gdp growth slightly to 1.2% in 2018 and 1.3% in 2019.

EEF region director for the East of England, Charlotte Horobin, said: “This is a more mixed picture than we have seen for some time and reflects the easing to come from continued political uncertainty in line with the national picture. However, the long-term prospects for companies in the East of England that invest in skills and training in particular will remain bright.” Read more

Keith Ferguson, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in the East of England, said: “Following a strong 2017, we are starting to see the impacts of the ongoing political and economic uncertainty on manufacturers in the East of England.

“It is now more important than ever for the Government to not lose sight of the needs of manufacturing, or indeed the wider economy, during the continuing EU negotiations. I have no doubt that manufacturers in the East of England will continue to be successful but the right support and trading environment will make a huge difference. Having more transparency from the Government will give them the confidence to invest in skills, automation and digitisation, which are so important to the future of UK manufacturing.”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 June 2018 08:08 )