Manufacturers not inspired to spend

Posted on 31 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

Manufacturers are largely supportive of the measures announced in last week’s Budget but it won’t inspire them to invest, according to a survey by Barclays Corporate.

The bank surveyed over 400 senior executive from UK companies with a turnover of more than £5m. Almost half of the respondents were manufacturers.

While 95 per cent of manufacturers stated that the budget will have a positive impact on private sector growth, even more – 97 per cent – said the measures will make Britain a more favourable place to business in the long term. Just over half said that the Budget will make the UK more competitive internationally.

Some 83 per cent of manufacturers said government should push ahead with its current spending cut plans.

However, three quarters said the Budget has not inspired them to commit extra investment into their businesses. And, looking ahead, 57% of UK manufacturers believe that the Coalition is not communicating this vision for the economy clearly enough.

Barclays Corporate new head of manufacturing, transport and logistics, Mark Lee, said: “Whilst some of the measures outlined in the Budget are promising for the manufacturing sector, the most important aspect is the positive signal it sends to a corporate sector which has been seeking both stability and reassurance from Government around its underlying stance towards business.

“Business investment is going to be one of the key factors in how much economic growth we can achieve this year and next. If businesses collectively gain the confidence to invest a little more readily as Budget measures start to positively impact on individual operations, then George Osborne really has achieved something meaningful.”

Only a 60:40 ratio of manufacturers are in favour of the 50p tax rate.

Former RBS man Mark Lee has replaced Graeme Allinson as the main manufacturing man at Barclays Corporate. He will be responsible for growing Barclay’s manufacturing, transport and logistics sector offering. Allinson moves to a new role as head of client satisfaction at the bank’s corporate division.

Lee was previously Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of global industrials group, a role in which he had lead responsibility for RBS’ UK large-cap relationships, primarily in the aerospace and defence and transport and logistics sectors. Prior to RBS, Lee held senior roles at Bank of America and Standard Chartered Bank.

Commenting on his appointment, Lee said; “Manufacturing, transport and logistics are key industry sectors for the UK and Ireland, with manufacturing in particular outperforming the UK economy. These are interesting and exciting times for the sectors and I look forward to supporting our clients through the development of strong broad-based relationships.”