The economic backdrop to this survey was an apparent weakening in output and orders at the end of 2011, with manufacturers’ confidence for 2012 seemingly fragile. However, even in uncertain times, companies were still focused on growth and looking for new opportunities and markets. More recent data from our trends survey has in fact revealed an improvement in manufacturers’ confidence, with output and new orders increasing in early 2012 and further optimism for quarter two.
The research explores and summarises the asset‑purchase behaviour of UK manufacturers, as investment in such a capital-intensive sector is critical for survival and growth. We were keen to establish how companies are financing their acquisitions and the drivers behind these decisions.
In a climate of increasing pressure on financial institutions to lend, combined with the need from businesses to access funding on the right terms, we have also assessed manufacturers’ awareness of the finance products that are available for asset purchase.