Report: Manufacturing Outlook 2024 Q2

Report Manufacturing Outlook 2024 Q2

Britain’s manufacturers are seeing a boost in growth prospects as output and orders pick up, with the sector forecast to outpace the economy overall this year. That’s according to Make UK’s Q2 Manufacturing Outlook survey, published today in partnership with BDO.

It also finds that business confidence has risen to equal its highest level in the last decade, as companies look to finally emerge from a two year slump following the post-COVID rebound.

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Export orders (+10%) exceeded UK orders (+2%), highlighting how the UK continues to depend on global value chains for its success, but the pattern since the pandemic, when UK orders have consistently exceeded export orders, is forecast to resume in the next quarter at +25% and +24% respectively.

The scramble to attract and retain talent also shows no signs of abating, with recruitment intentions increasing from +8% to +26% as companies take on staff to meet the expected increase in demand and better economic outlook.

The survey also asked companies to list their top three priorities for the next Government, with more than two thirds of companies (69.1%) stating the delivery of an industrial strategy as the top priority.

“At long last, manufacturers can see concrete signs of growth and a much better economic outlook ahead. With prices cooling and, potential cuts in interest rates to come, the next Government must capitalise on this scenario by delivering a modern, long term industrial strategy which goes beyond the 2030s and has cross Government support.This must be supported by a revolution in skills, a shortage of which is the biggest factor affecting not just companies’ growth prospects but, in many cases, their ability to maintain daily operations and fulfil contracts. This must be a national endeavour and begin with a fundamental review of the Apprentice Levy and wider”.

James Brougham – Senior Economist at Make UK

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