Manufacturing sector is still very confident

Despite the difficulties that the UK economy is suffering, the manufacturing sector is still very confident as regard to the prospects in the area over the next 12 months, and most CEO’s of SME’s are forecasting further growth. The latest research from ECI Partners, the UK private equity company, 82% of those in the manufacturing business are expecting to see a rise of 6% in turnover in the next year, while a quarter of them are expecting to see a rise over 20%.

The prospects for creating new jobs are equally optimistic, 79% of the CEO’s in manufacturing are expecting to add to their staff, whilst 24% are forecasting a rise in the number of their employees of over 6%. This positive outlook is detailed in the second annual growth survey from ECI, which polled nearly 250 Chief Executives right across the UK.

The Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk, has said that this is good news and despite a difficult few months, almost 75% of those SME’s that were surveyed by ECI are looking to recruit more staff over the next 12 months, and 50% are expecting to see a substantial growth on profits during the same period. He added that right across the country, it was the SME’s that were driving the country’s economic recovery.

The respondents who expect to add to their workforce rose to 74%, this is despite the predictions from economists and media commentators that employment would fall in the private sector. According to ONS data, employment in the private sector has already increased by over 500,000 in the next year.

The findings from ECI have indicated that there is a positive growth trend amongst those UK companies with a turnover of £10-200m and who employ over 7.5m staff, which accounts for over 1/3 of jobs in the UK private sector.

Those recognised as being the top two drivers amongst the manufacturing CEO’s for projected growth in their turnovers were seen to be equal with 17% each in increasing market share and entering new and geographical markets. An interesting statistic is that 96% of companies said they will source the money from their own cash flows to use for growth.