Having recently experienced an encouraging bounce-back from the post-recession business climate, manufacturers in the region have recently begun to experience a lull in their recovery. This admission comes from the latest quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO LLP.
The data gathered by the Manufacturing Outlook survey proposes a dip in fortunes for manufacturers in the North West for the first time in six quarters since the beginning of 2013, which originally demonstrated significant growth.
Fortunately recruitment and investment intentions continue on their stable trajectory suggesting that this halt in growth remains only temporary in the manufacturers fight back to complete recovery.
Another reassuring component of the temporary pause in recovery is that job prospects remained among the strongest of any UK region with a net 44% of firms taking on staff in the last quarter, furthermore, manufacturers activity is expected to pick up in the second half of the year.
The ways in which manufacturers are predicted to improve are through a 31% expect to increase output, 24% anticipate a boost in orders and 28% intend to take on staff. The dangers posed to future development are still present however, particularly with export as political risks around the world, a flagging Eurozone and the appreciation of sterling are adding to uncertainty.
EEF regional director Darrell Matthews said:
“North West manufacturers are still on course for a strong year, but our survey points to a moderation in the pace of expansion from the take-off in activity over the past year.”
The concern is that with global crisis around the world effecting the North West manufacturers’ ability to export goods will breed reluctance to go outside of domestic markets. Don Bancroft, partner and head of manufacturing at BDO in the North West suggested that this reluctance could be prove detrimental saying suggesting that export is crucial to long-term sustainable growth.
Words: Daniel Pearce