Conflicting messages on manufacturing outlook

Posted on 6 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

Despite August PMI figures showing manufacturing contraction EEF and SMMT have said positive trends can be detected.

The quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey from EEF and BDO released yester day defied widespread negativity over manufacturing performance and prospects.

Almost 80% of the 440 manufacturing companies surveyed by EEF and BDO reported either static or increased order books and output for Q3, 2011. This conflicts with disappointing PMI figures for August which dipped below 50 for the first time in 26 months.

Adding to this defiantly optimistic outlook for the industry the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today released figures which show the new car market grew for the first time in 13 months this August.

The new car market in August rose by 7.3% to 59,346 units. Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive has celebrated this upward swing in demand but warns that September order will be more influential.

“August represents a relatively small share of the new car market and the September new 61-plate registrations will be far more important for vehicle manufacturers and franchised dealers,” said Mr Everitt.

According to Mr Everitt the September new car market is traditionally important measure automotive industry success accounting for around 17% of registrations in a full year.

Commenting on the current demand climate Mr Everitt continued: “Consumers are nervous about the future, but with industry offering unprecedented improvements in fuel economy, competitive finance offers and a wide variety of new models, buyers will find there is something to suit every taste and pocket.”

Recovering from over a year of decline the overall positivity in August was brought about by an upswing in private demand. This increased by 10.7% in August. Fleet volumes also continued to rise.