Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
After a set of results last night that exceeded their wildest expectations, the Conservatives under Boris Johnson are looking set fair for a full term of majority Government. The first consequence will be that the UK is now almost certain to leave the EU on the 31st of January along the lines of the Withdrawal Agreement secured by the PM in October.
The general election settled some uncertainties but not all, and MTA chief executive James Selka set out the challenges and opportunities for huge gains in manufacturing productivity at a conference in Westminster yesterday.
On the 10th December the 2019 CECIMO General Assembly elected Massimo Carboniero as Chairman of the Technical Committee, and Bruno Cathomen as Chairman of the Communication and Advocacy Committee, for a period of two years. Delegates also confirmed MTA President Marcus Burton as Chairman of the Economic Committee for another mandate.
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has been given the green light to build a dedicated facility in the North West of England which will boost Lancashire’s reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative regions for advanced manufacturing and act as a powerful magnet for inward investors. The £20m state-of-the-art facility in a landmark location at the heart of the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone, one of four zones that make up the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster. Find out more in the story below.
Big congratulations to MTA members Pryor who have received two accolades at the 2019 Sheffield Business Awards, for Innovation and Business Person of the Year, awarded to Sales Director, Alastair Morris. Read the full story within the Brief.
We will be closing the MTA Business Survey for November early next week but there is still time to file your return - the on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-nov19 is still open. In answering the confidence question, we would ask any respondents to reflect their feelings before the General Election to avoid, if we can, any distortions to the sentiment in this survey.
The manufacturing output data published this week was fairly gloomy, both for the UK and for Europe, although the UK figures did offer a few straws of hope to clutch hold of. While UK manufacturing output grew in October, the preferred basis of comparing 3-month blocks showed a fall of -0.7% and output was also down on a year earlier. The data for the Aerospace industry continues to puzzle and can only be explained by the difference between measuring what is made and what is sold in an industry where some major companies sell a service rather than a product; while the Automotive industry remains weak, output has risen for the past two months and is now at its highest level for a year. In Europe, industrial production took another hit, led down by the capital goods industries. The estimate of UK GDP in October was flat with slower growth in services being outweighed by the weakness in manufacturing and construction.
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.