The latest from the Black Country 

Manufacturers Struggle Against Domestic and Global Headwinds

 MG 1064Responding to the UK Index of Production figures for November 2015, published today by the ONS, Paul Cadman, Group MD of the Futura Group, winner of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Manufacturer of the Year Award 2015, one of The Manufacturer’s 2015 Top 100 most influential people in manufacturing and proud member of the Chamber’s Platinum Group said: “The decline recorded in the manufacturing sector in November was disappointing, but not surprising. This reinforces the findings of our own Quarterly Economic Survey, which showed that the sector was battling both acute headwinds from global export markets and major structural issues at home. The survey recorded that Black Country manufacturers experienced a 7% drop in overseas sales and a 31% drop in domestic sales comparing results from Q3 and Q4 2015. The national index of production figures show manufacturing output in November 2015 was down 0.4% on the month, and down 1.2% on the year and total industrial production was down 0.7% on the month, but up 0.9% on the year.

“While the UK economy will continue to rely on its vibrant services sector to drive growth, manufacturing remains a critically important part of the national economy and even more significant in the Midlands. Although we cannot change the challenging global environment there is still work to do to support our manufacturing sector in areas such as access to finance, energy costs and capital allowances to make it more competitive globally.

“The Black Country has been experiencing better than average growth, but unlike other parts of the UK, performance is much more reliant on manufacturing. The Spending Review and the focus on cutting public spending means that businesses will no longer find it as easy to access grants. Although we may be in a period of uncertainty, I would urge our manufacturers to seek out professional business support wherever they can, to ensure that their processes are lean, to identify new market opportunities for their world class products and to help them introduce high performance work practices. We know it is going to cost small businesses more money to change but like bringing in young apprentices to refresh the workforce, investment in performance is an investment in the future success of your company.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 11:06

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