Intelligence Briefing - 01 October 2010

Published: 01/10/2010

EEF at the Labour Party conference | Meeting with key government official on supporting manufacturing exports | Latest pay data from EEF and lobbying on the minimum wage | EEF in the news | Week in Review | The week ahead | Join us for EEF’s Annual Brussels Delegation | Join us for EEF’s Conservative Party Conference programme

EEF at the Labour Party conference

EEF has been extremely active at the Labour Party Conference this week. On Monday morning we co-sponsored a fringe event with the Fabian Society, entitled ' Road to recovery: The role of UK manufacturing and competiveness' . Panel speakers included Adrian Bailey MP, the Chair of the Business Select Committee and Juergen Maier, MD of Siemens industry and a board member of EEF.

Later that day our Director of Policy, Stephen Radley, was a panellist alongside Gareth Thomas MP and Rachel Reeves MP at a debate hosted by the Community trade union which discussed the future approach to UK industrial policy.

Finally, we also held a private dinner with a group of EEF members, Pat McFadden MP, the Shadow Business Secretary, and a number of MPs from the Business and Defence Select Committees. The dinner, chaired by our Chief Executive Terry Scuoler, discussed the impact of the new Labour leader, how the Labour Party in Opposition can support manufacturing and the approach that any future Labour government should take to manufacturing policy.

For further information, contact Steven Coventry, Senior External Affairs Adviser, and see below for more information on our events at the Conservative Party conference next week.

Meeting with key government official on supporting manufacturing exports

On Friday EEF met with Sir Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment. Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, we have argued that government support for exporting is a key component of ensuring a better-balanced UK economy and in a tight spending settlement support for UKTI should be prioritised. We discussed these issues, as well as findings from a survey of our members on exports undertaken earlier this year.

For further information contact, Lee Hopley, Chief Economist

Latest pay data from EEF and lobbying on the minimum wage

EEF’s pay data for the 3 months to the end of August 2010 shows that the average pay settlement has fallen slightly to 1.9% from the revised figure of 2.0% for the previous 3 month period.

The number of manufacturers freezing pay rose slightly to just under a quarter of all reported settlements during this 3 month period. The number of companies reporting that they had deferred their pay settlement also rose slightly to just over 1 in 5 of all settlements, the highest level reported since April 2010. Members can download the full results here.

Ahead of today’s rise in the National Minimum Wage (NMW), EEF also submitted evidence to the Low Pay Commission on the approach to future increases. Specifically, we continue to argue for a more consistent formula to be used to give employers greater certainty about future increases in the NMW.

For further information contact David Yeandle, Head of Employment Policy

EEF in the news

Our media coverage this week EEF comments on the review of the Carbon Reduction Commitment in the Telegraph and our response to Ed Miliband's speech in The Times (requires subscription). Our Q3 credit survey also featured in the Daily Mail, while we discussed pensions issues in Personnel Today and contributed an article to Xpert HR.

Week in review


The GDP growth figure for Q2 remained unchanged at 1.2%.

Balance of Payments

The Balance of Payments deficit was down from £11.3bn in Q1 to £7.4 billion in Q2.

Business Investment

Revisions to Q2 data showed that, rather than falling, total business investment rose by 0.7%. The figure for growth in investment by manufacturers was revised upwards to 10.4%.

Index of Services

Year on year, output of the Service sector for July 2010 rose 1.2% compared with July 2009 (though output fell by 0.2% over the course of the month). Output in the distribution sector increased by 4.7%; Business services and finance output rose by 1.5%; and hotels and restaurants output rose by 0.9%. Output in transport and communication, and government services fell.

Lending to Individuals

Bank of England data shows that total net lending rose by £1.5bn in August. The 12 month growth rate increased to 0.9%. This month’s growth was composed of a £1.7bn increase in net mortgage lending and a fall in consumer credit.


Productivity in the whole economy grew by 0.5% during Q2. Manufacturing productivity grew by 2.2% in the same period.

GfK Consumer Confidence

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index fell by 2 points to -20 in Sep. There was a particularly large drop in expectations for the general economic outlook over the next 12 months.

PMI Manufacturing

The Manufacturing PMI was down to 53.4in September. This figure is a ten-month low for the indicator, however, it still indicates expansion in the sector.

The week ahead

Tue 5th: Composite PMI;

Thu 7th: Index of Production; MPC announcement;

Fri 8th: Producer Price index


Join us for EEF’s Annual Brussels Delegation

Decisions taken by the EU are crucially important for British business. Not only is the EU our largest market, but, according to some estimates, around half of UK law now originates from the EU. It is vital, therefore, that the voice of British business is heard loud and clear in the Brussels institutions. With this in mind, EEF organises an annual delegation for our members to visit Brussels. This year’s event takes place on 26/27 October and there are still places for companies that would be interested in attending.

For further information contact Steven Coventry, Senior External Affairs Adviser

Join us for EEF’s Conservative Party Conference programme

The autumn Party Conference season is traditionally a good opportunity to meet and influence policy-makers, especially with a new Government. EEF is running the following events, which are open to guests.

‘Developing new talent – how can the UK win the international skills race?’

A policy debate sponsored by BAE Systems and EEF, the manufacturers' organisation

Speakers: Jonathan Guthrie, Enterprise and Midlands Correspondent, the FT (Chair); Ben Wallace MP; Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director Programmes & Support, BAE systems; Will Hutton, Executive Vice Chair, The Work Foundation; and Lee Hopley, Chief Economist, EEF

Conservative Party Conference, Tuesday 5 October, 8 - 9.30am
Hall 10a, The ICC, Birmingham (this event is inside the secure zone, therefore a pass is required). Refreshments provided


‘Size Matters? Does the UK Need More, Larger, Manufacturing Companies?’

An Enterprise Forum debate sponsored by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation

With some notable exceptions, manufacturing in the UK is characterised by a lower proportion of large manufacturing companies in comparison to other industrialised nations such as the USA and Germany. This debate asks does this matter and if so what can we do about it?

Speakers: Rt. Hon. David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Innovation; Steve Radley, Director of Policy and External Affairs, EEF; Sir Richard Needham, Deputy Chairman, Dyson Ltd; Jonathan Guthrie, Enterprise and Midlands Correspondent, the FT

Conservative Party Conference, Tuesday 5 October, 12.45 – 2pm. Jubilee Suite, Copthorne Hotel Birmingham (outside the secure zone). Open to the public, refreshments provided


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