The findings of a new quarterly survey, as reported by the BusinessLive website, have revealed that the manufacturing sector in the South West has enjoyed a strong start to 2022, and is even leading the country in creating jobs.
The most recent quarterly manufacturing outlook survey from the organisation Make UK, which represents manufacturers across the country, shows that factories in the region benefitted from “very strong” domestic orders – the highest level of any region of the UK.
BusinessLive reported that overseas orders also continued to be strong, reflecting international markets that have seen a resurgence over the course of the past 12 months.
Exactly how strongly did South West manufacturers fare during 2022’s first quarter?
The poll found that total output in the region recorded a positive balance of +56%, which was the highest figure seen for any region of the UK, and almost twice the level of output recorded for the last quarter of 2021.
The situation in the South West has also been helped over the last few quarters by an emerging recovery in the aerospace industry, as well as heightened investment in renewable energy.
These heartening factors all seem to be feeding into the regional jobs outlook, which has shown the highest level of recruitment intentions in the UK, as firms take on new staff to help them meet demand. Also very positive by historical standards are the investment intentions on the back of this.
But companies are still worried about inflation
Mirroring the situation around the wider UK, manufacturers in South West England are still worried about spiralling inflation, which is forcing businesses to put up their prices at record levels for the fifth quarter in a row.
Make UK has called for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to use his Spring Statement – which he is set to deliver on 23rd March – to take whatever measures are required to help companies that are having to cope with rapidly escalating energy prices in particular.
The manufacturers’ body, which has predicted growth for manufacturing of +3% during 2022, has said that the Chancellor should delay the proposed rise in National Insurance set to take effect in April 2022.
Make UK’s southern regional director, Jim Davison, commented: “Manufacturers in the South West have seen a very strong start to the year as the economy has fully reopened.
“However, companies are now facing eyewatering increases in costs which are threatening to stop the economy in its tracks. As a result, the most immediate priority for the Chancellor in the short term must be to use his Statement to do whatever it takes to support companies through this difficult period.”
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Whatever the size of your business and wherever you are based in the South West, or even outside the region, our skilled and experienced accountants can be by your side.
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