Commenting on recent CBI figures, Siemens’ Andrew Peters said UK manufacturing has now a great opportunity to invest before market changes.
According to Peters, divisional director for Siemens industry automation and drive technologies, the current economic conditions are favorable for manufacturers: a weak pound makes UK exports grow, consumers haven’t felt the impact of the government’s austerity measures yet and companies are forced to embrace efficiency in their bid to cut costs. However, he warned, these conditions will eventually change.
He said: “We have not seen such sustained growth in UK manufacturing output for many decades as that witnessed over the past couple of years. Given that global GDP growth is set to continue for at least another two years at levels of 3.5% to 4.0%, I believe the UK manufacturing base currently has a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to take decisive investment steps and ‘fix the roof while the sun is shining’.
“When we compare our investment levels with those of Germany, the UK has a mountain to climb with typical German levels of investment some 25 to 30 times greater than the UK. Indeed, the German economy spent some 167.4 billion euros on plant and equipment last year alone. This was an increase of 9% on 2009. We are a long way from that.”