UK manufacturers confident despite growth slowdown

Posted on 1 Sep 2014 by The Manufacturer

UK manufacturers are confident about the UK’s economic outlook despite the slowing of growth in the sector, according to a new EEF study.

The survey, which questioned almost 300 businesses, showed companies plan to invest in machinery and recruit more skilled staff.

Despite this marking the 17th consecutive quarter of investment intentions being positive, the EEF warned of exports could suffer as a result of a flagging Eurozone economy and the strength of sterling.

EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: “Manufacturers are still on course for a strong year of output growth in 2014, but our survey points to a moderation in the pace of expansion from the take-off seen in activity over the past year.

“We’re also seeing manufacturers continue to recruit for skilled jobs and increase their plans to invest in the coming year – exactly what the UK economy still needs for balanced growth.”

It follows the British Chambers of Commerce predicting last week that the government will fail in its attempt of doubling exports to £1trn by 2020, despite fresh efforts by the UK to drum up more trade with China.

Tom Lawton, head of manufacturing at accountancy firm BDO, which helped with the report, added: “UK manufacturing cannot insulate itself from global market conditions and this is clearly shown in the dip in output. However, growth remains positive and long-term investment and employment intentions feel much more realistic at these levels.”

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