Manufacturers expecting growth

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The outlook is looking up for SME manufacturers in the south west, according to a new report.

Simon Howes
Simon Howes

The latest Barometer from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) says 64% of manufacturers surveyed expect turnover to increase over the next six months – a 23% rise on the same quarter last year.

Manufacturers’ confidence is further reflected by their investment intentions, with 47% expecting to increase investment in machinery over the next half year, a 6% increase on the last quarter.

The forecasts for the months ahead are further bolstered by sales results with over half (52%) reporting an increase in turnover within the last six months, another rise from the previous quarter. This is higher than the sales figure of 43% reported by the national MAS Barometer.

Commenting on the findings, Simon Howes, MAS area director for south England, said: “It is reassuring to see so many of our manufacturers forecasting an increase in turnover given both the UK overall economic contraction in the final quarter of 2012 as revealed by the ONS and the ongoing concerns surrounding recovery in the eurozone.

“This demonstrates the resolve of manufacturers in the region as well as illustrating that many are still finding opportunities to grow.”

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added: “Manufacturing is a key driver in our economy, which is why it takes centre stage in the Industrial Strategy for growth. It is vital that Government and industry continue to work together to address growth priority issues like access to finance and attracting young people into the sector.”