Wednesday, August 15, 2012

News: Yorkshire & Humber manufacturers report increase in orders


Manufacturing SMEs in Yorkshire and Humber are still reporting increased sales and predicting future growth.

58% of respondents to the latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) National Barometer have seen orders grow in the last six months with 55% anticipating a further upturn between now and the end of the year.

Nearly a third of thecompanies surveyed (31%) are looking to create new jobs, 58% are expecting the size of their workforce to stay the same and 68%are looking to boost their turnover through exporting in the next eighteen months.

In line with recent surveys, there does appear to be a softening in the marketplace with only 44% of respondents seeing an increase in enquiries, compared with 60% in the last Barometer.

The number of companies considering investment in new machinery and premises over the next six months is also down from 49% to 41%.

Martin Coats, area director at MAS, said: "The results are still showing positive signs of growth and expansion, although there are indications among SME manufacturers in Yorkshire and Humber of a more cautious outlook going forward.

"This is not unexpected when you consider the recent economic forecasts and, historically, it takes a little longer for the slowdown to cascade its way down the supply chain and to the smaller companies.

"We have to make sure we don't talk ourselves into another downturn. The National Barometer features responses from key decision makers at over 700 companies, representing more than 28,000 employees. It is carried out quarterly, giving us a smoother picture of sentiment as opposed to some monthly findings that can be swayed by external influences, such as the Jubilee.

"And the majority are saying to us they are growing and expect this to continue over the next six months."

Export was the specialist focus for this report and, despite turmoil within the Eurozone, 71% of firms are aspiring to increase international orders, with more than one in ten expecting to boost turnover by 50% between now and 2013.

Funded by the government, MAS supports growth in England's SME manufacturing sector, and can provide up to 50% funding for projects focused on various areas from products, processes and people to the supply chain and markets.

MAS website


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