North East manufacturing growth slows in third quarter

Manufacturing growth has slowed in the third quarter according to a study published today by the British Chambers of Commerce.

The report, which surveys firms in both manufacturing and the service sector, revealed that both sectors in Norfolk and the East of England reported reduced order books for UK and overseas sales, resulting in a slight dip in confidence since the previous quarter’s strong results.

Investment in plan, machinery and training remains constant and more manufacturers reported operating at full capacity.

Recruitment remains an issue, with many organisations reporting difficulty in sourcing skilled staff.

As skill shortages put pressure on existing wages, this may result in pay settlements becoming of greater concern.

Caroline Williams, CEO, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce said: “Both sectors are reporting that they anticipate a slow down in recruitment over the next three months.

“Inflation and interest rates have also been indicated as areas of concern for businesses in our region.

“Whilst the results are not as positive as the previous quarter, the Norfolk and East of England business communities will continue to strive towards economic growth and prosperity.

“Our results this quarter results are very similar to the overall national totals.

“They found that the strong upsurge in growth at the start of the year appears to have run its course; this is particular true for manufacturing and for all exports.

“However, the economy is still predicted to grow and if the right policies are implemented by government there is no reason why it can’t expand at a fast pace.

“The BCC published its election manifesto last month and we would encourage all parties to show support for the proposals to create the best possible environment for growth and enterprise.”