Budget 2017, EEF Manufacturing Outlook for 2017q2, trade and production data - this will be an eventful week ahead!
EEF Manufacturing Outlook out today
Today, we published our quarterly Manufacturing outlook for the first quarter of 2017. And it is all good news. Manufacturers reported strong balances for output and orders, with the improvement being fairly widespread across manufacturing subsectors. The squeeze on profit margins is easing gradually as manufacturers are passing on the rise in input costs through the supply chain. Confidence about the UK economy continued to recover. And as a result, employment and investment balances picked up slightly this quarter.
The full Q1 2017 Manufacturing Outlook can be downloaded here
On Wednesday, all eyes will be on the Budget. As Lee blogged last week, EEF welcomed the direction set by the Chancellor at the Autumn Statement, putting productivity and industrial strategy at the heart of the government's priorities. The Chancellor could take a step forward this week and make the business environment in the UK even better by removing plant and machinery from the business rates system, enhancing innovation through a better and more comprehensive R&D tax treatment and getting the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund focused on the 4th industrial revolution.
Check back our blog as we will be summing up the Chancellor's policy decisions and the OBR forecasts.
Production and Trade data
On Friday, the ONS will release production and trade data for the first month of 2017. As Martyn previously highlighted, the momentum seen in the final months of 2016 looked likely to continue into the new year. Survey indicators all pointed to a sustained recovery in the manufacturing sector and we thus expect trade and production data to be strong this week.