Hello and welcome to the Friday Brief for the 24th June.
With the momentous news of this morning only hours old there is huge uncertainty in the air. We now know that the UK will be leaving the EU but how, when and on what terms are very much to be decided. The MTA took a position based on the views of our members of supporting the UK’s remaining within the EU. But now that the decision has been reached we have to work hard to protect the future of the UK’s manufacturing technologies sector at a time of unprecedented change.
Maintaining access to the single market is of paramount importance, something widely agreed on across the political spectrum. Great care must be taken during the negotiation process to protect manufacturing’s interests and we will be working hard in the UK and in Brussels for that outcome.
Investment in technology is set to get a potential boost later in the year with the British Business Bank planning to extend the Government backed Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme to the Asset Finance field. This will enable Asset Financers to cover investments in intangibles or ‘soft’ assets that they would not otherwise be able to back because their risk will partly underwritten by Government. We believe that this has the potential to unlock substantial investment in the new technologies and turnkey solutions that so many of our member supply. You can find out more below.
Members in the Northwest may be interested in the opportunity to get involved in an industrial placement programme run by Stockport Grammar School.
This week’s Economic News was written before the events of this morning, but it is worth saying that there are so many unknowns emerging from the situation that the ramifications will take weeks, months and years to untangle. The CBI Industrial Trends survey, published this week, was generally positive while also highlighting the continuing divergence of the sectors within manufacturing and noting that it is the home market that is improving while exports remain flat. The Bank of England’s Agents’ had a similar overview, with industries such as Automotive and Aerospace continuing to lead the way within manufacturing, while Oil & Gas remains weak; this survey also had a special report on employment intentions and productivity which highlighted access to skills as a constraint for the latter. Finally this week, news from CECIMO that European machine tool production grew by +5% and machine tool consumption was up by +12% in 2015, but both measures are expected to be broadly flat in 2016.