Tuesday, April 23, 2024

East Midlands manufacturers see mixed start of the year

East Midlands manufacturers are seeing a mixed picture as they start the year but confidence is remaining robust despite the UK economy remaining weak overall.

However, Make UK is forecasting growth for manufacturing of just 0.1% in 2024 and 0.8% in 2025 which is weaker growth than the economy overall.

The findings come in the Q4 Manufacturing Outlook survey published by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO. According to the survey, output in the East Midlands was negative in the first few months of the year. However, looking forward both output and orders are set to pick up substantially in the second quarter of the year with orders in the next three months especially strong.

This positive picture is reflected in strong recruitment by firms and a jump in investment intentions to the highest level of any English region, which may be due to the full expensing policy announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement. 

Chris Corkan, Region Director for the Midlands at Make UK, said: “After the economic and political shocks of the last few years there is now strong confidence among manufacturers in the East Midlands, despite the mixed picture. While growth in the economy is not exactly supercharged, the positive announcements in the Autumn Statement and Budget can at least allow them to plan with more certainty for the future.”

Jonathan Lanes, Head of Manufacturing at BDO in the Midlands, added: “Manufacturers in the East Midlands have continued to show their ability to overcome wave after wave of challenges, but they cannot continue to do this indefinitely without some more long-term support from the Government.

“Despite the challenges faced across the region, demand for labour remains strong with investment intentions higher than in any other English region. That said, the next few months will be critical to the sector within the East Midlands.” 

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