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UK Manufacturing hits post-recession high

Posted by: Tom Webb-Skinner 4 Apr 14 - 12:43PM  | Manufacturing

Figures from the closely-watched Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed the sector kicked off 2014 in robust form. Output growth picked up pace strongly in January, with a reading of 64.6 (anything above 50 indicates growth) - the best result since August 2007.

“We are seeing a lot of good results coming from some of the government’s industry incentives, with the residential construction sector in particular benefitting from the Help to Buy scheme,” says Jonathan Lee Recruitment’s Les Hines, Senior Consultant. “Commercial project work and civil engineering activity also grew strongly, notching up the best performance since the summer of 2007.”

The CBI's survey of nearly 400 factory bosses also found that almost all industry sectors reported growth for a second consecutive month in December while export orders also rose to their strongest level for 22 months. These improvements were mainly driven by the chemicals and motor sectors.

Les says this kind of growth in output is great for industry, but there is a growing issue of staffing: “It will be crucial for companies looking to expand to secure a source of skilled workers, or face a manpower bottleneck. Skilled engineers and technicians are in short supply, but with the appropriate use of transferrable skills, and the addition of good inhouse training procedures, our clients will be well placed to capitalise from this positive period in our economy.”

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