UK manufacturers’ confidence weakens
Aldermore and EEF have published their fourth annual survey of executives which suggests that confidence about the economy and manufacturing in 2015 has weakened from the moderate outlook expected at the start of 2014.
Growth is anticipated by manufacturers across the UK economy but concerns about the global economic outlook have increased and the pace of growth companies are planning for is more modest – 37% of manufacturers expect another year of improvement in the UK economy while 17% expressed the view that deterioration is more likely.
Firms are putting in place strategies in response to a patchwork of opportunities, risks and uncertainties. These activities fall into three broad groups – efforts to differentiate, improvements to production processes and supplier relations, and entry into new business areas.
Coming out top are strategies that can enhance a competitive position with the launch of new product offerings, and increased marketing and branding activities.
A range of risks continue to be identified by manufacturers – rising input costs; pressure on pay settlements inlcuding exchange rate risk; economic disruptions and cash flow risk.