A month ago, Peter Davies (Professional Polishing, Smethwick) noted that although the usual downbeat attitude to manufacturing persists, when he attends business gatherings the attitude is buoyant, with news of orders coming in. This remark eventually led to the setting up of the Midland Producers website and was – on Friday 27th July – confirmed by the manufacturing editor of the Financial Times, Peter Marsh.
Though affected by the double-dip recession, Marsh reports that, since 2009, manufacturing has picked up faster than the economy as a whole, showing growth of 3.7% over this period – twice the figure for gross domestic product. Manufactured exports to the rest of the EU have risen 20% in value, while those to the rest of the world have climbed 48%.
He quotes Lord Bhattacharyya, director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, who – after focussing on the well-documented car industry – concluded:
“Hopes remain high that, over the next decade, manufacturing in the UK could once again become a vital growth driver for the economy.”