Phew... 2016 is over - but what will 2017 bring?

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As we head into the New Year, we take our annual look at manufacturers’ views of the year ahead.

What a year 2016 was – as Lee summed up on blogs here, here and here – but we made it through and here we are in 2017. And inevitably, as we always do at the start of a New Year, we make resolutions and think about what might happen in the year ahead.

And whilst I don’t always stick to my “new year, new me” resolutions, we have found over the years of conducting our Executive Surveys, that our members are pragmatic and realistic about their views and predictions of the year ahead.


This time last year

Our 2016 survey showed that risks had become more prominent for manufacturers. Featuring high up on the list were significant movements in exchange rates, economic volatility in a major market, and uncertainty around the UK’s place in the EU. The subdued outlook had led to something of a reduction in expectations for growth in 2016 compared with 2015.

Amidst these concerns, our 2016 report showed that manufacturers were planning on taking a broad range of actions to create their own opportunities for growth, on the back of several years of volatile economic conditions.

As another risk-filled year started for the UK manufacturing sector, companies prepared themselves with broad-based efforts to capture opportunities and mitigate exposure to risks.

We were not to know twelve months ago what a truly historic year 2016 was to be. As the new year begins, will 2017 be as memorable?


This year’s report

This year we have once again conducted research and produced a report on manufacturers’ views for 2017 – out next Monday 9 January (put it in your diary).


It’s a short spin around what manufacturing executives told us they were expecting for the year ahead – from what actions they are undertaking to deliver business plans to what risks are on the horizon – take a read and see how this compares to your company’s view of the next 12 months.

Will the findings echo what we heard from manufacturers about their ambitions in October?
What actions are manufacturers taking to create opportunities for growth?
What are companies expecting for sales growth and employment?
What features on the risks list in 2017 and how much of it is tied to Brexit?


Download and read the new 2017 report on Monday

Don’t forget the EEF National Manufacturing Conference will be taking place in London on Wednesday 22nd February 2016. The event brings together politicians, senior industrialists and manufacturing leaders from across the UK to discuss the critical challenges ahead and how to make the UK the best place to manufacture. Book your place here


Senior Policy Researcher

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