Industry slashes investment in fight for survival - Make UK/BDO surveyThe Make UK/BDO Manufacturing Outlook Quarter 3 survey shows that whilst the sector has climbed off the bottom there is no evidence of V shape recovery.
- Output and orders improve but still way below historic averages
- Significant cuts to investment while employment prospects weaken
- Forward looking indicator suggest conditions will improve albeit slowly
- Just under a fifth of companies operating at full capacity, rising to just over a quarter expected to be by the end of the year
- Industry forecast to contract by more than 10% in 2020 with forecast recovery for 2021 downgraded
All regions and nations, barring Scotland, have reported positive, albeit marginal, business confidence this quarter. This tempered positivity reflects the UK’s exit from the strictest of the lockdown measures which created a very difficult operating environment for manufacturers in the UK.
In this quarter’s research, the grouping of these confidence values is tight, telling of the homogeneity of some of the operational challenges businesses face throughout the country. Barring another UK-wide lockdown, confidence would be expected to creep upwards in a similar vein to that of orders and output.