Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult is the go-to place for manufacturing technologies in the UK, supporting organisations of all sizes in their success. MACH 2020 is pleased to announce that the HVM Catapult will be exhibiting at the UK’s national manufacturing showcase this April. Find out more in the story below.
While not as dramatic as some of the Parliamentary antics of 2019, yesterday saw the first big political ructions of 2020. By unexpectedly removing his Chancellor, the Prime Minister clearly signalled that he intends to accept no challenge to his power at No.10. Our Head of External Affairs Paul O’Donnell takes a closer look at yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle.
The Smart IoT Conference is taking place 11th-12th March 2020 at ExCeL London and the MTA will be attending the event with a stand there, so make sure you come along and get insight into how manufacturing organisations can start their digital journey.
Coronavirus has been prominent in the news recently and we would like to assess the impact this is having on our members’ ability to trade with the far east. Please could you take 1 minute to answer this short questionnaire https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/F89C77H.
Staying with surveys, The January edition of the MTA Business Survey will be closed on Monday but there is still time to get your return back to us. The on-line form at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-jan20 is still available, so if you have not done so already, please take a couple of minutes to fill it in.
MTA members Renishaw used additive manufacturing to produce a titanium nose tip and steering wheel for Bloodhound SSC. The supersonic car that aims to break land speed record in South Africa. Both parts were used in the Bloodhound SSC, now Bloodhound LSR, car that reached its benchmark target of 500 mph in the South African desert in November 2019. Find out more in the story below.
Figures published this week for the UK manufacturing sector made gloomy reading with the 4th quarter seeing a fall in output of -1.2% and -1.5% for 2019 as a whole. While we have already highlighted the weakness of the automotive industry, which saw output fall by -9% in 2019, but this was not the only problem and the machinery industry recorded a fall in output of -7½% last year. Although the aerospace industry (whose figures continue to puzzle) saw a small increase in output in the final quarter, 2019 as a whole registered a fall of -5% and the only bright spot was the +2% rise in output from the metal products industry.
The industrial output data also triggered the first estimate of GDP (activity in the whole UK economy) and although the 4th quarter figure was flat, revisions to some earlier data meant that 2019 as a whole is currently estimated to have seen growth of +1.4%, slightly faster than the +1.3% recorded in 2018. Also part of the GDP data release was the top-level figures for business investment which showed a small amount of growth in 2019, but within that total, spending on “ICT and other machinery” fell by -7½%. This week also saw Eurostat release the December figures for industrial output; the weak headline data, with total output falling by -2% for both the Euro-zone and the EU27 (which now excludes the UK) compared to November was made worse by the fact that this decline was led by the capital goods industries with double that rate of decline in just one month.
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.