MTA forecasts steady recovery

Posted on 5 May 2011 by The Manufacturer

Slight increases in growth of domestic orders and exports in quarter one 2011 have relaxed the concerns of UK machine tool manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) has expressed quiet relief at the growth in its sector in the first quarter of this year. Contrary to other manufacturing sectors, domestic orders in the parts industry have outperformed exports, although this position is expected to be reversed over the coming quarter.

Promisingly, the majority of machine tools manufacturers swelled their payrolls over the first quarter of the year, although they still reported a shortage of skilled labour.

Graham Dewhurst, the MTA’s director-general, said: “Overall these are a reassuring set of figures. The first quarter has been a good one for our members who supply the enabling technologies to British Manufacturing – which bodes well for the sector as a whole. The news that they are looking forward to further increases in the second quarter is welcome too. But there are challenges on the horizon in the shape of shortages in skilled labour and international competition”.

Mr Dewhurst made the case for the government to take a more proactive approach to competing internationally. “There are export orders out there to compete for and our companies need Government to be straining every sinew to support their efforts,” he said.