A survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry has revealed that growth within the sector is continuing to strengthen.
The CBI‘s Industrial Trends Survey questioned almost 400 manufacturers and found that both total order books and the pace of output growth in the last quarter of 2013 were the highest recorded since 1995.
Another study found that 57 per cent of companies in the West Midlands and North West had experienced a nine per cent rise in sales in the last six months.
Diane Kimberley, managing director of Arford Steel Profiles, said: “Things were definitely picking up again towards the end of last year and that trend has continued at the start of the new year.
“There have certainly been encouraging signs of a revival in the steel profiling industry and while I wouldn’t say things are back on an even keel just yet, it looks as though they are getting there. Let’s hope it continues.
“If businesses like ours are starting to feel the benefits of a recovery, then I’m sure it will be felt in the rest of the region too.
“The West Midlands, and the Black Country in particular, has always been a barometer of economic prosperity within the UK so if trade in our area is strong, then the industry as a whole is usually strong too.”
Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said:
“A picture is unfolding of a real upsurge in output across much of the UK economy. Many firms in many sectors are feeling brighter about their prospects than they have for a long time, showing the recovery is gaining traction.”
The Manufacturing Advisory Service said that 75 per cent of firms expect to expand before April 2014, with 67 per cent planning to invest in machinery or premises.