Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
This week saw the long-awaited release of the Government’s Industrial Digitalisation Review - Made Smarter - which was chaired by Professor Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK. The review outlines proposals to boost the economy using advanced digital technologies including robotics, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, as well as artificial intelligence. Please see the story below for the MTA’s comments on this and to download the report in full.
STEM Learning are on the lookout for companies to help host work placements for teachers. The work placements are to help ensure teachers are up to date with the latest innovations and technologies used by industry, so that they can pass this knowledge onto their students. See the story below and find out how you can get involved.
A post-Brexit UK Trade Policy Summit conference supported by the Department for International Trade takes places on 8th November 2017 in London. The event will provide delegates with a 360-degree view of possible scenarios and their implications for trading in goods and services. More information on how you can attend can be found in the story below.
The MTA Business Survey for October was launched earlier in the week (although apologies if having the wrong month in the title of most of the emails caused confusion) and we hope that as many MTA members as possible will take part in this survey. You can access the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-oct17.
The new edition of the MTA Economic Report is available for members to download (you will need your login to access this); it includes the usual round-up of economic data for the UK and, perhaps most importantly this time, a longer review of the forecasts and presentations from our recent Seminar.
Following a technical glitch that meant that there was no economic news last week, there are a large number of stories this time. We will cover the rise in UK interest rates next week once we have the Bank’s Inflation Report, so top of the list is the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data which was strong for the UK and Europe, but showed an easing of conditions elsewhere in the world – however, among the countries and regions we track, only Mexico was actually in negative territory. The UK GDP data for the 3rd quarter of 2017 that came out last week was slightly better than had been anticipated, but that does not mean that the economy is doing as well as it might - if the year ends at this pace, we will just about get growth of +1.5% for 2017 and this is somewhat below the potential of the economy. In contrast, although slightly slower than in the 2nd quarter, the initial estimates from Eurostat show that the European economy grew at +0.6% in the 3rd period and at an annualised rate of 2.5%
There was mostly positive news from the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey, although the pace of growth (but note, still growth) eased slightly and investment intentions weakened a little. The European Commission Economic Sentiment Indicator has been on an upward trend over the past 12 months and this was continued in the latest data, with capacity utilisation rates also picking up significantly in all of the major European economies (including the UK). There is also an improvement in the US market for both machine tools and cutting tools as we go through the year. Finally, we note the availability of a new edition of CECIMO’s Economic and Statistical Toolbox and the latest BEAMA Contract Price Adjustment report.
Thanks so much for reading, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news, until then have a great weekend from everyone at the MTA.