Following up on our research last year with BDO, this survey found that 2007 was another good year for UK manufacturers. Activity indicators over the course of the year all pointed to expanding output and order books. Surveys also suggest that exports have made a particular contribution to growth.
The solid performance of the sector in the last 12 months has been in spite of a number of potentially damaging factors – an appreciating currency, the price of oil pushing towards $100 per barrel and turbulence in the financial markets (‘the credit crunch’).
Its new resilience is a result of the major restructurings in UK manufacturing in recent years, driven by pressure from global competition. However, UK manufacturing companies continue to operate against this backdrop of increasingly intense competition.
Although this report is mostly focused on current performance and strategy we note concern that the credit crunch could have significant negative implications for UK manufacturing - if the underlying uncertainties continue for too long into 2008.