Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
We’ll start with a reminder from last week’s Brief that we are looking for our members’ support of the Year of Engineering, so please have a read and participate. The government has declared 2018 as the ‘Year of Engineering’ and, with MACH 2018 just around the corner we would like to gain the support of all our members and exhibitors by championing this project. Please read the story below and get in contact with Tom Lane at the MTA to pledge your support, email Tom at email@example.com.
This week finally saw progress in the Brexit negotiations as the European Council gave its assent that sufficient progress has been made on Phase 1 to move on to Phase 2; Transition and Trade. The MTA is supporting the CBI’s call for the Transition to be a smooth as possible with little or no change for business in the short term. On Trade we are involved in discussions with BEIS as to how best to support them in relation to our sector with some arrangements expected to be agreed in the New Year.
A partnership between the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and one of the most dynamic manufacturing regions in South Korea was praised by the UK government this week for its role in opening-up new markets for British know-how and industry. Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, said plans for the AMRC Asia’s Industry 4.0 Centre “represents the type of innovative growth the UK government has committed itself to in its new Industrial Strategy – building on mutual strengths for the creation of new industries and infrastructure that will boost productivity, competitive advantage and economic growth.” Find out more about this exciting project below.
The British Business Bank is the Government backed institution which underwrites financial products that the Banks find difficult, but which are useful for Business. Its work was expanded in the Budget and we have an update below. Of particular interest is the extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which adds some Government support to ‘push the needle’ on borderline funding decisions, to Asset Finance providers, something the MTA has been pushing for. It’s a small start but hopefully will grow.
DATA, the Design and Technology Association, has been running a project with a group of schools who have been introducing robotics to their students linked to a range of ‘real life’ activities we have developed around them. Previously, these schools would not have had access to this technology within their Design and Technology curriculum. Find out how you can get involved in the story below.
The MTA Business Survey for November will be closing on Monday, so there is still time to get your data to us - the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-nov17 is still open
The good economic news for Europe continues in two pieces of data published this week; industrial production has increased - although the capital goods figures are less positive, this appears to be in part because of the adjustment of the German data for the number of days worked, so we need to keep an eye on that over the next few months – and GDP in both the Euro-zone and the EU28 has been revised up to an annualised rate of +2.6%. The UK is now one of the slowest growing economies in Europe, ahead of only Denmark and Greece. Exports of engineering goods, which account for more than half of all manufactured goods shipments, are increasing strongly, in part reflecting the weakness of Sterling; imports are growing less strongly, but we still have a trade deficit in most elements of Engineering, with the notable exception of Aerospace. We also have news on the US market, availability of reports and data from recent exchanges in Europe and the latest report for the Contract Price Adjustment service that we subscribe to for members.
That’s all for this week, from everyone at the MTA have a great weekend.