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Firms are reporting weaker business activity overall, especially from the domestic UK market but export orders have increased slightly this quarter, indicating greater confidence from foreign customers about purchasing UK goods as concerns about an end of year no-deal Brexit fade. 

Investment levels have slightly improved this quarter following a decline since the start of the year. While this is positive, and possibly a sign that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is less of a short-term worry, firms are still facing an uphill battle.

Stephen Phipson Make UK, CEO
Investment is critical to UK manufacturing. The sector is facing increased global competition and major change in respect of industry 4.0 and sustainability. An increase in first year capital allowances - something that a quarter of companies see as a priority for the new Government - would be a good incentive to boost capital investment in 2020 and beyond. This should be considered as part of a long-term sustainable industrial strategy. 
Tom Lawton Head of Manufacturing at BDO
Manufacturing / Economic indicators / Industry report