BMI Engineering

BMI Engineering in the Black Country

Positive outlook for Midlands manufacturers

Small to medium sized manufacturers across the Midlands have remained resilient in the face of ‘Brexit’ uncertainty, according to new research.

The Manufacturing Barometer, conducted by SWMAS Group in partnership with Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), shows 60% of firms recorded an increase in sales during the last six months.

The research also found strong optimism for growth, with 69% expecting sales to grow again during the first half of 2017.

Senior decision makers from 56 companies across the region provided an insight into life on the shopfloor as part of the report.

Nearly half (47%) of those questioned also revealed that they plan to invest in new capital equipment and premises going forward, whilst 48% plan to increase their workforce to cope with demand.

Simon Howes, managing director of SWMAS Group, said: “There has been a lot of talk about uncertainty around the impact of Brexit and the possible impact it could have on manufacturing, which makes the positive results from the latest Barometer very welcome.

“There has been a surge in the number of Midlands SMEs reporting an increase in sales showing that orders are still being placed and, anecdotally, there is evidence of a spike in exports due to the fall in Sterling. This is something we plan to look at in more depth in future reports.”

He added: “Encouragingly, there appears to still be a strong appetite to invest in technology and people to drive growth and productivity and that is something that could prove crucial if our SMEs are going to fulfil their aspirations.”

The Manufacturing Barometer is the largest survey conducted of SME manufacturers in the UK and asks senior decision makers for their views on business performance, future trends and Government policy.