Three months ago I wrote a blog off the back of a breakfast meeting I attended fronted by the Manufacturers Organisations Chief Economist Lee Hopley. In the talk she highlighted the perceived nervousness within British manufacturers on the news of Brexit. Contrary to this she highlighted British exporting was, at the time, perceived to carry on an upward trajectory.
Forward wind to the start of 2017 and it was good to read the below in the Guardian this morning. Costs of buying foreign raw materials is continuously increasing; directly affecting margins and prices to contractors. This said, things could be a lot worse given the major news stories of 2016.
EEF’s chief economist, Lee Hopley, said: “There is a real sense that there are way more risks than opportunities out there, obviously that is exacerbated by Brexit.” Manufacturers were generally hopeful of better sales this year and were still investing in productivity improvements. “The message we are getting from manufacturers is you can’t afford to sit on your hands for 18 months,” she said. The survey also showed a rise in the proportion of firms that think the UK was a competitive place to base a manufacturing business in the next 12 months. “For the next 12 months at least, respondents are positive, on balance, about the UK as a place to manufacture. Whilst this is encouraging, it could reflect perceptions about the current attractiveness of other locations, with unpredictability not just a UK phenomenon,” the report said.