Steady growth from South West manufacturers

Simon Howes

Simon Howes

Small to medium sized (SME) manufacturers in the South West have reported steady signs of growth over the last six months, according to the latest Barometer from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

More than a third (35 per cent) of respondents reported that their sales, order books and enquiry levels had all increased over the last half year.

Of these, the most significant growth has been in sales, with over half (57 per cent) of companies reporting an increase. This is a rise of four per cent from the last quarter.

Simon Howes, MAS Area Director for South West England, comments: “Our latest Barometer results highlight the flexibilityof South West manufacturers, many of which continue to thrive despite the difficult trading conditions in recent years.

“The findings also mirror the encouraging figures recently reported by the Office for National Statistics, which revealed an increase in manufacturing output between July and September.

“However, our survey also provides some evidence that expectations of sales growth are somewhat cautious, with companies slightly lowering their sales forecasts for the coming six months compared to the previous quarter.

“This is a time for manufacturers to review their business and product strategies, generate new product ideas and identify market opportunities to ensure that they can fully grasp the opportunities presented by the improved economic outlook.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “These findings are another sign that the economy is heading in the right direction and confidence is returning as we move from rescue to recovery.”