Monday, June 9, 2014

News: Yorkshire manufacturers remain positive


Yorkshire manufacturers are outperforming the other regions in the UK, according to the latest quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey by EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, and accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO LLP.

The data, published today, reveals that business confidence in Yorkshire has firmly taken root, with this quarter's findings showing that manufacturers' strong start to the year was sustained in the second quarter. Firms reported positives across every key indicator of business health.

A balance of 54% of Yorkshire-based manufacturers reported an increase in orders in Q2 – higher than all other UK regions. Yorkshire was only pipped to the post by East of England for output.

39% of manufacturers have ramped up recruitment during Q2 (second only to the South West), with a further 28% planning to invest further during the year ahead.

The one area of caution is in exports where demand weakness in key markets and the appreciation of sterling is adding to uncertainty, resulting in a small decline in the number of Yorkshire manufacturers confident of achieving export growth in the third quarter of the year.

The strong results for the region mirror the national picture and EEF is now forecasting 3.6% manufacturing growth, a substantial upgrade from the 2.7% forecast at the beginning of the year.

Jason Whitworth, partner at BDO LLP in Yorkshire, said: "Government manufacturing policy is clearly paying dividends and is creating an environment in which Yorkshire manufacturers are comfortable enough to commit to future investment, both in terms of employment and capital. This is a very positive indicator for the rest of the year. What is now needed is for this success to be replicated abroad.

"We would encourage the Government to introduce more supportive measures for exports, especially given the tentative nature of economic recovery in Europe."

Andy Tuscher, Yorkshire Region Director at EEF, added: "There is a palpable sense of mounting confidence amongst manufacturers here in Yorkshire and this set of results tells us that it is fully justified. The continuing trend for strong positives is a further boost for businesses emerging from the shadow of the recession and a further boost to the local economy and the job market.

"Manufacturers in this region will also have an important role to play in helping to sustain broad based growth across the UK."

The Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), the UK trade organisation dedicated to the future of manufacturing, recently announced that it had acquired a new headquarters in Rotherham, taking nearly 7,000 sq ft of office space at Advantage House, Catcliffe.

EEF website
BDO LLP website

Images: MTL Group


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