Yorkshire & Humber manufacturers continue to benefit from exports

Yorkshire & Humber manufacturers continue to benefit from exports

Manufacturers across the region are enjoying positive conditions among economic indicators according to the latest survey by EEF and BDO LLP.

The Manufacturing Outlook survey for the third quarter shows output across the region at its highest level in almost three years with a balance of +39% of companies saying their output increased.

Whilst overall orders eased back slightly from last quarter, they remain strong with export orders, at +29%, being especially positive.

This reflects the national picture of a sector benefitting from both a pick-up in the Eurozone and other growing markets around the world.

The picture is expected to remain stable in the coming months.

This strong performance has boosted business confidence amongst firms in Yorkshire & Humber, reflected in a continued demand for skills with recruitment intentions reaching the highest level for almost three years at +26%, the third highest of any UK region.

Furthermore, this increased confidence has passed through to investment intentions which have returned to the highest level for two years at +17%.

Despite the buoyant picture, the cloud on the horizon remains the uncertainty over the UK economy.

While firms are confident of their own performance, EEF’s indicator for the UK economy has slipped for the second quarter running in response to the continued political uncertainty and squeeze on consumer spending.

As a result EEF continues to expect tepid growth of 1.7% this year and 1.3% in 2018.

Andy Tuscher, region director for EEF in Yorkshire & Humber, said: “Manufacturers appear to have taken the recent political upheaval in their stride and are taking advantage of growing world markets to make hay while the sun shines.

“There is little doubt that Brexit is likely to weigh on sentiment over the next twelve months with uncertainty over the UK’s terms of exit.

“As such, it is vital the Government sends a signal to industry and investors in the UK and overseas that it is doing everything in its power to get growth of the UK economy back on the agenda.

“This must include a bold and ambitious cross -government industrial strategy.”

EEF, known as the manufacturers’ organisation, is the representative voice of UK manufacturing, with offices in London, Brussels, every English region and Wales.

They collectively represent 20,000 companies of all sizes, from start-ups to multinationals, across engineering, manufacturing, technology and the wider industrial sector.