Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
The expansion of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from £200,000 to £1m – something the MTA argued for last year - kicked in at the start of January 2019. Between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2021, businesses can invest up to £1m annually in qualifying plant and machinery assets and obtain 100% tax relief. Looking forward, this will make investing in new equipment in the cycle leading up to and including MACH 2020 even more cost-effective for most visitors.
The MTA Business Survey for January is underway and we would encourage all members to take a couple of moments to respond. While we are in a period of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we have an overview of the business situation in our sector. The on-line form available at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-jan19 and we look forward to receiving your responses.
This week MTA’s Education & Development team attended the launch of the Higher Education Commission’s report evaluating the effectiveness of Degree Apprenticeships. The Government’s vision was for degree apprenticeships to bring the world of business and the world of education together. Find out more in the story below.
As a member of the MTA you get access to Croner services. Croner are expert consultants in Employment Law, HR, and Health & Safety, with a range of tools and services to help businesses. They are hosting a series of webinars throughout February on different aspects that could help your business. See the story below for full listings.
An intelligent, low-cost tooling insert, embedded with smart sensors, has been developed to deliver in-process condition monitoring that reduces machining stoppages and improves productivity for UK manufacturers. The prototype device, developed with Innovate UK funding, allows a machine tool operator to determine the condition of a cutting tool without manual inspection and is the first ‘plug and play’ system of its kind with no process learning time required on installation. Find out more within the Brief.
On the 5th March join Renishaw for an open day at their Innovation Centre in Gloucestershire, where leading figures in the aerospace industry will illustrate the key trends and innovative technologies that are transforming aerospace manufacturing. If you are interested in attending the story below has more information.
The PMI data this morning made gloomy reading; the UK saw its index fall, although it did manage to stay in positive territory, but the evidence suggests that this is mainly because of stock-piling activity driven by concerns over the outcome of the Brexit process. In the Euro-zone, while the overall index was still just above 50, Germany slipped into negative territory, joining Italy which also saw a weaker reading than in December - these are the two largest manufacturing economies in this region. The news from elsewhere in the world was not good either with three other European countries and three in Asia in negative territory (we don’t have the data from the Americas until this afternoon) and globally only 4 countries have a better PMI in January than they did in December. Other important data this week included the fall in UK production of cars in 2018, while engine output got very close to repeating 2018’s record level of activity. There was, however, more bad news in the fall in economic sentiment as measured by the European Commission survey, although capacity utilisation held up quite well in this survey. The first look at GDP also suggested modest expansion at the regional level, although Italy is in recession with its 2nd consecutive quarter-on-quarter fall in GDP at the end of 2018. Finally this week, the latest report for the Contract Price Adjustment service is available for MTA members.
That’s all for this week we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news.