Our new Regional Manufacturing Outlook report, released in partnership with BDO LLP, the accountancy and business advisory firm, shows that every region in England and Wales has suffered a decline in optimism, with the biggest falls seen by manufacturers in the South East & London and Wales, and the smallest by firms in the North East.
These are sentiments echoed in our recent EU referendum survey, which recorded the largest drop in business confidence since we started tracking it two years ago. A balance of companies surveyed expect falls in orders from UK and EU customers, over the latter part of this year. If this materialises, it would mark the end of an improving picture that was been reported in the first half of the year.
So where to from here?
As ever, it is strong, measured political leadership that we will be relying on moving forward to ensure that our industry’s future is secure. This current period of uncertainty is by no means the final state, and with encouraging promises from Theresa May for an effective industrial strategy to be implemented, there are reasons to feel positive for the future.
What will be needed for confidence to return, is a firm and stable business environment, supportive policies and the right outcome from Brexit negotiations.
EEF meanwhile will continue to be the voice for UK manufacturing and we will be working hard to ensure that our members concerns are heard at the highest level. Keep up to date by signing up to our Intelligence Briefing, and if you would like to share your views, you can email our Director of EU Affairs, Fergus McReynolds firstname.lastname@example.org
Additionally, EEF provides members access to resources, knowledge and information via our member advice line, website and events programme. See our upcoming event What does Brexit mean for HR?