The recent '2017 Q2 Manufacturing Outlook Survey' carried out by EEF and accountancy firm BDO, has revealed that the UK manufacturing sector remains strong despite uncertainties over Brexit negotiations and the upcoming general election. The results from the quarterly survey prompted EEF to raise their manufacturing growth forecasts to 1.3% and 0.5% for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Let's take a closer look at some of the positive trends across the UK manufacturing sector, placing particular emphasis on output, markets, investment and employment:
Manufacturing – Despite remaining well above the long-term average and representing a considerable improvement on last year's figures, output balances fell marginally short of expectations at 26%. The 31% recorded in the previous quarter was a four year high.
Markets – While the domestic market continued to provide a solid stream of new orders for UK manufacturers, the surge in export opportunities throughout quarter 2 was particularly pleasing. Interestingly, 61% of firms reported a significant increase in demand from European markets!
Investment & Employment – Investment balances were also positive for the third quarter in succession as manufacturers strive to satisfy the growing demand for UK goods. Furthermore, manufacturing employment balances rose to a three year high during the second quarter of 2017.
It's not all good news however, as representatives from both EEF and BDO were quick to point out the various challenges which UK manufacturing organisations are likely to face in the not too distant future. Industry experts are particularly concerned about the potential ramifications of unsuccessful trade negotiations with the EU and other core overseas markets. Additional causes for concern included: increasing raw material costs, reductions in consumer spending along with attracting and retaining top talent to combat skills shortages.
Regardless of challenges that lay ahead, Ceequel® Shop Floor Data Capture is the ideal solution to set UK manufacturing organisations on the road to continuous improvement.
Developed by award-winning time and attendance systems provider ELF Productivity, Ceequel® Shop Floor Data Capture delivers unparalleled, real-time production analysis along with intelligent activity based costing features. For more information, please contact ELF Productivity.
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