Good morning and welcome to this week’s Friday Brief.
Firstly, we would like to thank all our members and exhibitors for working with the MTA team on rescheduling of MACH 2021 to next January 25-28. We’re working flat out to reissue contracts and ensure everyone is aware of the situation. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the UK’s national manufacturing exhibition next January.
The situation in respect of support from Government for Businesses is changing on an almost daily basis as the response to the Covid 19 outbreak spreads. There was a budget only two week ago which looked like it contained major measures; this week these have been massively scaled up and there is more expected later today. So far, what the Government has promised to companies is fourfold: Direct cash grants aimed at the hospitality sector; paying Statutory Sick Payments; Time to Pay for taxes; and interest free loans to tide businesses over. While these steps are welcome, and unprecedented, more is likely to be necessary and further announcements are expected this afternoon potentially some sort of short time working support, whereby Government will pay a proportion of worker’s wages during the period of the crisis - both to protect them in the short term and to enable the economy to bounce back quicker later in the year. We await the next move from the Treasury. We’ve got more details and links in the story below.
Our HR partner Croner have put together a detailed feature on managing Coronavirus-related issues in the workplace. Check-inside the brief for details on identifying the virus and an extensive Q&A on possible work-related scenarios to ensure you and your team stay healthy and safe during the difficult period.
IFM have put together a list of all the collaborative projects underway that you or your organisation may be able to support the effort to beat Coronavirus. There are many initiatives nationally and internationally to which manufacturers and individuals can contribute. IFM have compiled a webpage of initiatives which will be kept up to date in the coming weeks and months, you can see the current list and link to the webpage within the story below.
One initiative is being organised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who are looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government's response to COVID-19. There is an online form you can complete to identify the suitability and readiness of organisations to be involved in the initiative. In addition to completing the form – if your company has direct experience of contract manufacturing of machined components for the medical devices sector please contact the MTA’s Head of External Affairs, Paul O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org urgently.
CECIMO welcomes the Corona Response Investment Initiative, which is part of the European measures presented by the European Commission on 13 March 2020 and the European Central Bank´s comprehensive package of monetary policy measures, presented on 12 March 2020. However, at the present time, it is impossible to foresee how long the crisis will last. Therefore, CECIMO stresses the need for joint actions when supporting the European industry and implementing measures to help the real economy and guaranteeing the well-being of the employees of our national associations’ member companies. More detail within the Brief.
The only economic data published this week was the analysis of exports/imports by industry for 2019 and we take a look at these results for the key industries who purchase manufacturing technology equipment. The main headline was that exports grew a little faster than imports so the overall trade deficit fell compared to 2018, but there is an interesting angle to one of the data points. Exports from the Aerospace industry increased by +10.5% which is somewhat at odds with the recent data for output from that industry which, according to the ONS, fell by -5% in 2019. We have previously discussed the difference between what is made and what is sold - “power by the hour” provision of aircraft engines means that the two are not necessarily directly related - but the export (and import) figures track movements of physical goods rather than sales of services so probably reflect more accurately the actual activity level in this industry.
That’s all for this week, have a great weekend from everyone at the MTA, we’ll be back next Friday with more industry news.