Manufacturing outstrips service sector in Midlands

Posted on 14 Jul 2011 by The Manufacturer

In a report by the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, evidence shows that growth of the service sector in the region is being outstripped by that of manufacturing.

Manufacturers based in the West Midlands reported growth in sales, production and the size of their workforces, while the service sector falters. While some have slated manufacturing as being unable to lever the UK out of the recession and propel it towards a full-scale recovery, this is further evidence that the industry is not to be sniffed at.

The data from the report shows that 25% more manufacturers saw sales rise than fall this quarter compared to the previous three months. As well as this encouraging news, data from the report also shows that 19% more manufacturing firms were expanding their workforce rather than retracting – 12% of service sector companies said they expected to be forced to reduce the number of people working for them.

Export growth is boosting confidence in manufacturing, as Mike Ashton of the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce said. “With low interest rates and the weak pound, exporters in the region are continuing to benefit. 26% more manufacturers reported a rise in export sales than a fall,” Ashton said in a statement to the Birmingham Post.

George Archer