Britain’s manufacturers have seen output surge by three times faster than orders in the last quarter, to +10%.
According to the latest Make UK/BDO Q4 2023 Manufacturing Outlook survey, the overall outlook remains positive and forecasts that the manufacturing sector will now see growth this year.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- British manufacturers have seen output surge by three times faster than orders in the last quarter, to +10% from a negative balance in Q3 of -3%
- It is the third quarter this year that output balances were equal to or exceeded +20%, indicating overall growth for the manufacturing industry
- Business confidence remains positive despite the turbulence in order books, indicating that future performance is expected to be more positive
- Export orders surpassed domestic orders for the first time in four years suggesting that firms are taking advantage of either faster-growing or new markets
- Recruitment prospects have recovered after the previous quarter’s challenges and look strong going forward, although capital investment plans have stalled
- The share of manufacturers raising prices on their goods continues to show material signs of falling, with national statistics indicating input costs are treading on deflation which will ease cost pressures on manufacturers.
To read the full report visit the MakeUK website.
2023 has once again been a challenging year for manufacturers, but after reading the report and speaking directly to our customers, manufacturers are finishing the year on a high with orders and employment figures rebounding.
However, as the graph below shows, the 'Gross Value Added' (GVA) differs considerably between manufacturing subsectors.
Source: Oxford Economics
As we head into 2024, it would appear that the manufacturing industry is in a stronger position than a year ago, and we hope that the welcome news delivered in the Autumn Statment just a few weeks ago will provide manufacturers with the confidence needed so they can continue to invest in their people and tools they use to maximise productivity and become even more competitive on the global stage in the year ahead.
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