Despite reports of an industry downturn, small and medium-sized manufacturers in Yorkshire are reporting increased sales and predicting future growth. A hundred and sixty SME’s in the county were surveyed by the Manufacturing Advisory Service and 58% of them said that their orders grew in the last six months and 55% said that they were expecting further growth.
Yet according to another survey of purchasing managers, the manufacturing industry sector shrunk in July at the fastest rate for three years, smashing hopes that the UK is coming out of recession. For those companies that are considering investing in new premises or machinery the figure is also down, dropping from 49% to 41%.
Several recent surveys have followed similar lines which suggest that there is a softening in the market place. This latest survey said also that compared to 60% in the previous survey, only 44% of SME’s saw an increase in enquiries. On the bright side, the MAS survey said that about 30% of companies are looking to increase their workforce and 38% expect their workforce to remain as it is.
The Manufacturing Advisory Service said that 68% of companies are hoping to boost turnover in the next eighteen months. The area director of the MAS, Martin Coats, said that these results show positive signs of growth and expansion. He did add a cautionary note, however.
He said that SME’s in the manufacturing sector in Humber and Yorkshire were going forward with a cautious outlook. But he added that this is not surprising taking into consideration recent economic forecasts and the fact that it always takes a bit longer for the slowdown to reach the smaller companies.