Despite Brexit and rising inflation, UK manufacturers optimistic about the year ahead

Photo: RTE

British manufacturers remain confident about improving business conditions and productivity this year, although Brexit and increased costs have harmed most.

This is the conclusion of a new industry survey released today.

According to the trade association Make UK and accountants PwC, 73 percent of manufacturers expected the sector's prospects will improve in 2022 and 78 percent anticipated at least a slight boost in productivity.

However, two-thirds of businesses reported that Brexit had harmed their operations in the nearly two years since the UK left the EU while retaining workers and growing input prices due to inflation posed further challenges.

"It's testament to the strength of manufacturers that they have emerged from the turbulence of the last couple of years in such a relatively strong position," said Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK.

"To build on this we now need to see a government fully committed to supporting the sector," he added, adding that the government also required a longer-term economic vision.

Over a third of respondents said they will restore some activities during the next two years in response to supply chain bottlenecks caused by Brexit and the pandemic last year.

Just over half stated that they had no intention of relocating any of their production to the UK.

According to a comparable study, the number of British firms boosting prices reached its highest level in at least two decades last month. The Bank of England raised interest rates to 0.25 percent to combat inflationary pressures.

Official figures showed that manufacturing output in the United Kingdom remained more than 2% below pre-pandemic levels in October.

Make UK forecasts manufacturing growth of 6.9 percent in 2021 and 3.3 percent in 2022.

Between November 8 and November 29, a survey of 228 businesses was undertaken.

Publish : 2022-01-10 15:23:00

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