Flat order books and stable output are signs for modest relief given the state of the world economy, but the UK must attend to fiscal basics now.
The UK must be more fiscally competitive if it is to meet the challenge of high technology competition from Asia, says Robin Johnson, partner and head of industrial engineering at law firm Eversheds, responding to Tuesday’s CBI output figures.
“Within the global manufacturing economy these are actually good figures. Anything which shows evidence of growth at a time when eurozone manufacturing is under pressure is encouraging.
“The weakening of the pound against the euro is unhelpful as it leads to uncertainty, but, while import costs will again increase, exports should benefit as a result of this. However, manufacturers need to ensure they have robust hedging strategies.
“There are some very interesting advanced technology initiatives being pursued within the UK, which has to be the way forward for UK industry.
“We are seeing evidence that south-east Asian countries are looking yet again increasingly to the UK for collaboration and our universities play a critical role within this context.
“We still need to ensure the UK is fiscally competitive through measures such as encouraging apprenticeships on a long term basis and ensuring that research and development initiatives are doing enough to make manufacturers put their investment into the UK rather than elsewhere.”