Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
A slightly shorter Brief this week but still some good stories for you to get your teeth into.
As you know MTA has been working with our partner trade associations within EURIS to promote the interests of our industry in Brexit negotiations. We have had considerable success in getting political attention to the specific needs of product manufacturers, as seen in many of the terms of the recent Chequers agreement and resulting White Paper. Please can you take a few minutes to complete the survey here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MTA_Brexit_Survey.
MSC R&D are hosting a series of webinars created and delivered to help businesses maintain the levels of R&D investment necessary to ensure continued growth. To find out how to register for the webinar please see the story below.
As promised last week, we take a deeper look at the raft of data that the ONS published last Friday. The manufacturing output data was, on the face of it, somewhat downbeat, but while it is clear that 2018 is not as good a year as 2017, it is not quite as bad as it looks. For example, output fell in the 2nd quarter, but this was mainly in April, with monthly growth in both May and June which, if sustained (as other survey data suggests it should be), would point to a better 2nd half for this year. There is a much more mixed picture in some of our key end-user industries; Aerospace output continues to set new records, but both the Automotive and Machinery industries have come off the peak that we saw towards the end of 2017, although they remain high by historical standards. We see something similar in the European data which is suggesting that the underlying trend has flattened off at a high level and although it is still the fastest growing sub-sector if you look back a year, the capital goods industries had the sharpest monthly fall in June. The data from the US market continues to show strong growth in demand both for machines and tooling. Finally, returning to the UK, the latest trade data shows a sharp increase in the trade deficit for goods, although the proportion that is due to a rise in imports - there was also fall in exports, although Q1 had been exceptionally strong - is in erratic items which may well be exaggerating the real picture.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be taking a short break from the Friday Brief next week due to the bank holiday and we’ll be back on 31st August with more industry news.