Knowledge & Insight

UK Manufacturing in positive mood

Fri 21 March 2014

Despite ongoing uncertainties throughout the global economy, UK manufacturers have been reporting some very encouraging results, and this has been reflected in the IMF’s recent upgrade of its forecast for UK economic growth - from 1.9% to 2.4%. This is consistent with forecasts from other respected bodies such as the CBI who have also upgraded their UK growth forecast to 2.4%, and the British Chambers of Commerce who are even more upbeat in predicting a growth rate of 2.7% for 2014.

The IMF revision has attracted particular attention as it represents the largest upgrade for any of the G7 nations, and although there are a number of factors driving this, the main engine of growth appears to be manufacturing. Car production was up a massive 10.8% last year, and the UK continues to attract further inward investment  from Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan in particular. The vast majority of production from both of these manufacturers is destined for overseas markets, helping to offset the UK’s trade deficit.

Strong sales in UK and export markets

This strong performance was reflected in a recent poll of UK manufacturers carried out by the EEF and accountancy firm BDO, with the survey reporting higher output and orders for January and February this year. In addition to car manufacturing, this increased activity is supported by growth in oil, chemicals, rubber, plastics, traditional engineering and aerospace engineering, where firms report a combination of improved UK sales and strong export performance. This increased activity has also produced a knock-on effect in recruitment and investment, which have both seen a sharp upturn.

The strong performance of UK companies compared to their European and global counterparts is testament to the vision of their leaders. Through strong management, firms have been able to deliver growth and attract new investment in a challenging environment. UK companies have had the vision to invest not only in new technologies,  but also in a wave of new apprentices, ensuring the technical talent pool is sufficient to meet future demand, securing the future of UK companies and their ability to compete effectively with manufacturers in the US, Germany and Asia.

The importance of specialist manufacturing executive search

In today’s globalised manufacturing sector, effective recruitment and retention of high-calibre talent is a pre-requisite for success, and that requires the services of a specialised manufacturing executive search firm. Stone Executive is an experienced manufacturing headhunter with a strong track-record in manufacturing executive search. Our recruitment consultants have a network that spans many of the UK’s leading manufacturing firms, together with professional bodies and of course, some of the brightest talent in the business. This enables us to identify and attract the kind of executives who have played a role in delivering the good news we see today.

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