Intelligence Briefing 2nd July 2015

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In this issue: Weekly Focus: Airports Commission recommends additional runway should be built at Heathrow Airport | EEF publishes Investment Monitor report | EEF briefs Interim Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Trade and Investment Minister | EEF continues engagement with new MPs | Entries open for manufacturing photography competition | Information for companies trading with Greece | In the Media | Week in Review | The week ahead | Blogs from this week

Weekly Focus: Airports Commission recommends additional runway should be built at Heathrow Airport

Following a long consultation process, the Airports Commission, set up by the last Government to examine how to maintain Britain's aviation status, has made a recommendation. From a shortlist of three runway options (two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick), the Commission has recommended that a new North West runway should be built at Heathrow.

EEF backs this recommendation and had been making the case for Heathrow, Britain's most important air freight hub, to be expanded. In our most recent survey on the issue, 79% of manufacturers with a business need for expansion would prefer this to be at Heathrow over Gatwick.

The Government will be studying the report and making a decision this autumn. EEF will continue to make the case for a firm decision to be taken and for planning permission to be granted in this Parliament.

Heathrow is collecting signatures from businesses for an open letter to the Prime Minister asking him to implement the Airports Commission's recommendation. If you would like to sign this letter - click here.

For more information contact Christopher Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser

EEF publishes Investment Monitor report

This week EEF published its annual Investment Monitor 2015, which aims to identify investment intentions in the UK’s manufacturing sector over the next two years. This year’s report is also concerned with the role of investment, particularly manufacturing investment, in the UK’s productivity performance.

The report shows that Britain’s manufacturers are planning to invest across a range of areas in the next two years in an effort to boost productivity. Manufacturers’ investment in the latest machinery has grown rapidly in recent years to keep up with rising demand and to make good on past cutbacks.

The research shows more growth in investment in machinery and equipment to come, but a slower pace of increase reflects a switch in focus to ‘intangibles’ such as training, recruitment, R&D, software and marketing in order to gain a competitive advantage.

For more information contact Georgios Nikolaidis, Senior Economist

EEF briefs Interim Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Trade and Investment Minister

As part of EEF’s on-going engagement with the Opposition, we briefed the party’s Interim Leader, Harriet Harman MP, on manufacturers’ priorities for the Budget, which will be announced on 8th July. We also met the Shadow Trade and Investment Minister, Stephen Doughty MP, and briefed him on productivity, industrial strategy and airport expansion. We will continue to engage with Labour and all parties over the coming months to ensure they are briefed on the manufacturing sector’s priorities.

For more information contact Paul Raynes, Policy Director

EEF continues engagement with new MPs

EEF this week met the new Labour MP for Chester, Chris Matheson, as part of its ongoing engagement with all parties. We briefed Mr Matheson on manufacturers’ priorities around skills and innovation, and how the sector can drive growth through the supply chain. The Chester constituency has a large manufacturing base and EEF will continue to meet and brief MPs with a particular interest in the sector and with a strong manufacturing base in their constituency.

For more information contact Paul Raynes, Policy Director

Entries open for manufacturing photography competition

EEF and Lombard have launched the 6th annual manufacturing photography competition and is urging photographers to submit images that capture the essence of modern manufacturing. Companies are being encouraged to open their doors to photographers in their local area to demonstrate what makes manufacturing so innovative and diverse, and help challenge out-dated perceptions of the industry. A share of £5,000 of Canon photography equipment will be shared by the three category winners – professional, amateur and young (14-19 years old). For more information visit the competition website.

Information for companies trading with Greece

Greece has announced that it is introducing capital controls on the movement of currency. The Government has published guidance on its website for companies that trade with Greece or rely on suppliers there. This will be updated on a rolling basis, providing information and advice for people and businesses on the latest developments in Greece.

In the media

Our response to the Airport Commission’s recommendation to build a new runway at Heathrow Airport was widely reported in The Times (£), The Financial Times (subscription required), The Daily Telegraph and The Independent (link unavailable). Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser Christopher Richards was interviewed on BBC News and BBC Parliament on the issue.

The findings from EEF’s annual Investment Monitor report were reported in The Times (£), The Financial Times (subscription required) and BBC News.

Policy Director Paul Raynes was interviewed on productivity on BBC News. Our comments on the latest PMI data were reported in The Financial Times (subscription required).

The Financial Times (subscription required) featured our comments on industrial strategy in an article on Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s recent comments on the government’s industrial ‘approach’.

For more information contact Sophie Carroll, External Affairs Executive

Week in review

UK GDP

UK GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.4% in 2015q1; revised up 0.1 percentage points from the previous. Manufacturing growth was unrevised at 0.1% in q1.

Manufacturing PMI

The manufacturing PMI hit a twenty-six month low of 51.4 in June, suggesting q2 may be the weakest quarter of growth for manufacturing since 2013 q1. The PMI has nonetheless remained above the neutral 50.0 mark for 27 consecutive months.

The week ahead

7th Jul: Index of Production

Blogs from this week

01 Jul 2015 - PMI confirms loss of momentum in q2 by Felicity Burch

30 Jun 2015 - Manufacturing growth revised up for 2014 - Q1 2015 growth unchanged by George Nikolaidis

29 Jun 2015 - Insights from EEFs Investment Monitor 2015 by George Nikolaidis

29 Jun 2015 - Week ahead 29th June by Felicity Burch

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