Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
Let’s start with some good(ish) news: The PMI data released this week was not quite the unrelenting gloom that we have seen in the past couple of months, although if your horizons don’t extend beyond Europe - where the reading for Germany fell again and is now at recession levels, dragging down many of the other economies - you could be forgiven for not agreeing with this view. The UK reading edged up but is still below 50 with the report’s compilers suggesting that this is because of another round of pre-Brexit stock-building outweighing falls in orders, sales and employment in the sector. There were generally improvements in the Americas and a mixed picture in Asia where China and Taiwan were better, but Japan and Korea fell again.
This week saw the publication of the Prime Minister’s new proposed deal for leaving the EU. Most of the attention so far has focussed on the rather convoluted solution proposed for Northern Ireland but there may be more to worry about in what is being floated in relation to standards… find out more below.
If no deal is agreed, then the Government’s position is that the UK will leave on the 31st October. The Benn act says otherwise, but preparing for a No Deal is still a sensible course for Businesses to take. To help with that the CBI, with whom the MTA has worked closely on Brexit, has produced an online No Deal Preparations hub. You can visit it here. It aims to help you understand the impact of No Deal on your Business and ask yourself the right questions.
This month’s MTA Business survey is now live, we would encourage all members to take part in this, information about what is happening in our industry is vital in turbulent times like these. The form is available at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-sep19 - we look forward to hearing from you.
Companies in the Automotive supply chain may be interested in a series of seminars hosted by the Advanced Propulsion Centre to help businesses and supply chain partners prepare for an exit from the EU on the 31st October. They will be led by officials from the Automotive Team at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will give an overview of what’s changing and what businesses need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU. If you would like to attend the dates of the workshops can be found in the below.
Did you know that the UK is the only G7 country with a robot density below the world’s average and is 30% less productive per hour than manufacturers in Germany? These statistics are related to one another and Automation is going to play an integral role in ensuring UK manufacturing is able to compete in the future, yet many manufacturers remain sceptical as to its cost, payback period, and suitability for their applications. FANUC is inviting UK manufacturers to its first ever Open House event on 29 – 31 October 2019, to help understand the importance of automation, as well as how cost-effective it can be – full details below.
DIT Russia is organising visit of UK automotive component producers to the city of Naberezhnye Chelny to visit the production site of KAMAZ – the largest Russian truck and bus manufacturer. The mission will take place on 18-22 November 2019 more details on the trip can be found in the story below.
The TRINITY project has launched to help SMEs benefit from robotics, IoT and cybersecurity technologies The TRINITY project will offer financial and technical support to European SME companies to test and benefit from these technologies through two rounds of open calls. Find out more within the Brief.
As a member of the MTA, you can take advantage of Make UK’s HR connect events. These are free for members of Make UK and members of Make UK partners, like MTA. The upcoming HR connect events scheduled for November, focus on how mediation can be used in the workplace to resolve conflict, if this is something that is of interest to you more details can be found on these events below.
The other major economic data released this week was the UK’s National Accounts for the 2nd quarter. This was complicated by some major updates and revisions, mainly to the nominal levels rather than volume trends and by the somewhat volatile path of economic activity in the UK (which we discuss in the article), but the upshot of all this is that the economy is still estimated to have contracted by -0.2% compared to the 1st period of 2019, but the annualised growth rate edged up to +1.3%. We should also have seen the detailed investment figures, but publication of these has been postponed; however, a substantial downgrading of the estimate of spending on “ICT and other machinery” is likely to mean a weak quarter for manufacturing investment.
That’s all for this week, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news and views, until then have a great weekend, from everyone at the MTA.