Published: 10 February, 2010
The MTA's latest industry survey shows growing confidence in the market and another monthly rise in order intake. But it is too early to say that the worst is over. The upbeat news comes the day after the Chancellor delivered his pre-budget report - which had precious little cheer for manufacturing.
The sector"s net order intake has risen, but is still lower than a year ago. Invoiced sales are also showing a month on month increase, all signs that engineering based manufacturing is on the way to economic recovery. As a result of the brighter economic picture business confidence is also rising, with more companies in the sector reporting an increase in enquiries and a positive outlook - confidence is at a 5 month high according to the current survey results. The sector will disappointed though, at the news that Capital Allowances of 40% are to be cancelled in March 2010. That will hit the affordability of industrial equipment and hamper investment.
Employment levels still appear negative but there are still positive signs to report with most companies responding with 'no change’ at present compared to previous months which saw a number of job cuts. The outlook for jobs will not be helped by the news the National Insurance Contributions are to rise again, albeit not till 2011.