Welcome to the Friday Brief for 21 March 2014.
First up this week, a Stop Press, as this morning saw the 600th Exhibitor, Axminster Tools & Machinery, confirmed for MACH 2014! That’s a 20% increase in numbers over 2012. That 20% figure also applies to the latest pre-registrations for MACH 2014 too.
The national news this week was dominated by the Chancellor’s Budget. For manufacturers the highlight was the doubling of the Annual Investment Allowance to £500,000. The MTA has long campaigned for a fairer capital allowances regime for manufacturers and we were very pleased by the Chancellor decision. But (there’s always a ‘but’…) while the rate change is welcome it has only been promised until the end of 2015. This is not helpful to long term business planning and the MTA will continue to press for the change to be made permanent.
The MTA’s quarterly Economic Report is out and members can download the document from this week’s Brief. On the economic data front this week we see that in terms of UK trade in goods by industry for 2013 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that exports of advanced engineering products were +6.2% higher than in 2012 at £128.6 billion, while imports were worth £161.0 billion, also +6.2% higher than in the previous year.
We have an invitation from a German manufacturer looking to source automotive parts from the UK; full details are in the Brief. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills has also issued guidance on the WEEE regulations, so check out our story to see if your products are included.
Finally, the MTA’s 2014 TDI Challenge has been announced and entries are now welcome. Do encourage your contacts in education and training to entry as there is no additional work involved and a lot to be gained.
Have a good weekend.