The national head of manufacturing at audit tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill is calling on UK manufacturers to focus on sourcing raw materials and components domestically.
Midlands managing partner for the firm, Johnathan Dudley, said the latest figures from the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed that growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector accelerated in August 2017.
The PMI reading was the second highest in the past three years, with the sector shown to have risen from 55.3 points in July to 56.9 in August. A figure that is above 50 indicates expansion.
Johnathan said: “These growth figures are encouraging and though no doubt supported by cheaper exports caused by the weaker pound, this shows that our products are in demand elsewhere in the world.”
However, despite this positive aspect of the weak pound, he also stressed that with imports being more expensive, it was essential for UK manufacturers to maximise domestic sourcing of raw materials and components.
“Strategically, and with the prospect of Brexit, it has never been more important to source domestically,” he continued.
“It seems to be an opportune time for UK industry to increase domestic supplies of power, metals, minerals and technology.
“It is recognised that this takes money and brain power so we need to ensure there are incentives for profitable businesses
“In my opinion, only then will the manufacturing renaissance that has powered the UK's economic recovery be truly sustainable in the long term.”
With the Bank of England hinting that a possible interest rate rise remains unlikely, Johnathan said: “This would seem to support an expansionist policy for UK manufacturing.
“Funding help through initiatives like the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine will add vital positive forces to counteract the continued uncertainty of Brexit and all that may, or may not, entail.”
Crowe Clark Whitehill is an audit, tax and advisory firm and the UK member of Crowe Horwath International, the eighth largest global professional service organisation with over 200 independent member firms operating from offices around the world.
The firm has eight offices in the UK, with more than 80 partners and over 600 members of staff.