Monday, December 2, 2013

News: Yorkshire manufacturers enjoying strong demand


Yorkshire and Humber manufacturers are continuing to see strong conditions with increasing confidence being reflected in recruitment and investment intentions, according to a major survey published today by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and business advisers and accountancy firm BDO LLP in Yorkshire.

According to the survey, manufacturing output and orders remained strong in the final quarter of the year with positive balances of +22% and +32% respectively. This is resulting in increased demand for skilled people with a recruitment intention balance of + 19% for the last three months, compared to the forecasted +12%.

The percentage of Yorkshire manufacturers intending to take on staff remained strong at 20% for the first three months of the year, thanks to expected further increases in output (+44%) and order balances (+35%) in Q1 2014.

EEF is forecasting that this picture will continue into 2014 with the sector growing by 2.7% in 2014 compared to 2.4% for the economy overall. The improved performance during 2013 has also resulted in EEF revising its forecasts for this year, showing manufacturing contracting by just 0.1% and the economy growing overall by 1.4%

Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire region director at the EEF, said: "Over the course of the year we have seen a definite turnaround in prospects for manufacturing and this looks set to continue into next year.

"This increased confidence is evident in companies looking to increase their headcount and, most importantly for balanced growth, step up their investment. However, uncertainties in the global economy remain and a sustained recovery is not secure. As a result, growth must remain a priority for government over the remainder of this parliament, starting with the Autumn Statement this week."

Jason Whitworth, partner at BDO LLP in Yorkshire, added: "Continued strong demand within the domestic market is very encouraging and this does suggest that a sustainable manufacturing recovery has gained a foothold in the region.

"However, international markets hold the key to a fully-fledged and meaningful improvement and these markets remain frustratingly fragile. We haven't missed the boat yet, but companies need to stand ready and be supported by an accessible Government-backed export framework in order to take full advantage of the recovery on the continent and beyond."

EEF website


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