Businesses across the country may be finding times tough at the moment, but there is encouraging news coming from certain sectors. In the east of England new figures have shown that small and mid-sized manufacturers are growing and experiencing an upsurge in orders, indicating not only a recovering manufacturing sector but also a boost in business confidence for those companies making the orders. This shows a degree of strengthening in the SME sector, if only in certain areas.
The latest barometer by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has reported that orders in the regions of the east have grown in the last six months. A further 52% also anticipated a further upturn between now and the end of the year.
There’s more good news as well. Almost a third of firms surveyed are looking to create new jobs, with more than two-thirds looking to boost their turnover through exporting over the next eighteen months. Exports have been hailed by the government as a way for SMEs to increase their turnover by looking for revenue outside of domestic markets.
However, the amount of firms looking to invest in new machinery and property over the next six months is down on last year’s survey – showing a fall of around 3%. This could show a lack of cash flow for big financial outlays, which both of these would entail.
This survey shows that many small manufacturing firms are growing and expecting to continue growth and job creation. However, there are still indications of caution which show that business confidence is still not at pre-recession levels – understandable given gloomy GDP growth forecasts and ongoing problems in the Eurozone. Even with Europe in turmoil, exports are showing their importance in creating an upsurge in manufacturing.
This is mostly encouraging news, perhaps showing the start of a more positive attitude amongst some sections of the UK economy.