Mixed outlook for manufacturers

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South west manufacturers are showing some signs of growth and forecasts for increased investment, but this is tempered with a fall in enquiry levels, according to the latest South West Barometer from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

Simon Howes

Over half (53%) of respondents reported an increase in sales turnover over the past six months, representing a small but positive rise from 51% in the last quarter. Planned investment in new technology is also rising, with nearly a third (31%) of respondents indicating that they would look to increase this in the next six months.

However, while over a third of manufacturers (34%) indicated that enquiry levels have increased compared with six months ago, this is a significant fall from 50% in the last quarter.

Commenting on the findings, MAS area director Simon Howes said: “We are not surprised that the latest barometer reveals variations in both results and future predictions given the recent economic forecasts.

“While it is reassuring to see that there are still signs of moderate growth and expansion for south west manufacturers, the fall in enquiry levels puts into focus the importance of continual innovation in order to generate new leads.”