Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
With the dust settled on a successful MACH 2018, we are pleased to announce that the new machexhibition.com website has launched and the ballot process for MACH 2020 is now open.
The new MACH website now has responsive design to make it even easier to navigate, update and enjoy on mobile devices. The site contains all the latest MACH 2020 news and provides full details of companies exhibiting at the next show.
The MTC's Robotics and Automation team, are delivering a technical Insight into Automation & Robotics. This live online virtual classroom course will provide you with the insight to make informed decisions concerning the introduction of automation and robotics to your business.
Cutting edge technology under construction at AMRC to take carbon fibre weaving to new dimension. Construction of flagship fibre processing equipment that will take carbon fibre weaving to a new dimension is gathering pace at the University of Sheffield AMRC Composite Centre.
Staying with the AMRC, they have signed a collaborative research agreement with the National Research Council of Canada in a ceremony that took place at the Canadian High Commission in London. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement is to develop novel composites for aerospace and is the first project under the broader CAN-UK science, technology and innovation research partnership.
The German government has formally vetoed the sale of Leifeld Metal Spinning AG, a member company of VDW, to a Chinese investor. It is an unprecedented move. Although the German investment screening law was tightened in July, 2017, it hasn’t been used to actually block an investment ever since its establishment. Find out more in the story below.
This week, Oxford Economics ran a webinar on the prospects for the UK after Brexit or, perhaps more accurately, what Brexit might look like which is the real driver of the economic outcomes. In essence, we seem to be moving to two possible and almost diametrically opposed outcomes of Brexit in name only (i.e. remaining in the/a Customs Union) and a reversion to WTO rules for the UK’s trading future; it is important to note that the latter would apply not just to our business with the EU, but to all those countries with whom we have a trade agreement at present through our membership of the EU. You can read a more detailed summary in the article below and access the full webinar (with thanks to OE for their permission to do this).
The economic news this week is led by the manufacturing PMI data that was released on Wednesday and, in the case of the UK, attracted some unnecessarily negative headlines; yes, the reading was down slightly on June, but at 54.0 is still pointing to a significant rate of expansion in the UK economy - just not quite as fast as it was. The latest data from Europe shows GDP growth at the same pace in both the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2018 - thanks to an improvement here, the latter is now broadly in line with UK economic growth. While general economic sentiment in the EU is flat at a high level, there was a fall in industry confidence in the round-up of July survey data; this also showed capacity utilisation edging down slightly, although remaining at an historically high level.
The increase in interest rates announced by the Bank of England was so heavily expected, that there has been barely a ripple in the markets around this; even the unchanged long-term advice of further increases albeit “limited and gradual” has raised barely a comment. It is worth noting that although the Bank reports a pick up in the economy as part of the justification for raising rates, they still only expect 2018 as a whole to see growth of +1.4%, with an acceleration to +1.8% in 2019 - hardly spectacular for an economy with a long-term trend rate in the range of 2½% to 2¾% per annum. It seems more likely that they are looking to create room for a cut next Spring if Brexit goes horribly wrong (see above!).
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news.