Welcome to our final Friday Brief of 2020 - what a year that was and for all the wrong reasons!
Inevitably, we have a raft of Brexit stories covering a range of issues including an update of our UKCA/CE mark guide to reflect publication of the list of designated standards, reminders from the DIT and details of trade agreements that the UK has signed, information about trading with Northern Ireland and advice on using personal data from people and companies in the EU - some of this may still change if a trade agreement is reached with the EU and we will attempt to update this as soon as we have concrete information.
There was news on Thursday that the CJRS (furlough scheme) will now run to the end of April and that the deadlines for the Coronavirus loan schemes have been extended to the end of March. It might also be useful to repeat the links to all the information we have published on Brexit (at https://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/resources/brexit) and on the Coronavirus situation (at https://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/resources/coronavirus.
The economic news this week is led by the flash PMI data releases which are out a little earlier than usual this month with the Christmas holidays. The manufacturing index for the UK, Euro-zone and Japan improved compared to October, although the latter remains just below the crucial 50 level, while there was a marginal reduction for the USA, but this remains strongly positive. The European industrial production data for October showed a further improvement while remaining below the levels of a year earlier, with the capital goods industry leading the recovery, although this is partly because it fell the furthest in the initial crisis. We also take a look at the latest report from the Bank of England’s Agents and data on exports/imports in the 3rd quarter by industry.
We have an appeal from the Digital Catapult for partners in the Smart Factory project and details of the Internationalisation fund from the Department for International Trade (DIT) which is aimed at helping SMEs to boost their export performance.
Our colleague at EAMA, in partnership with Enginuity and the Gatsby Foundation have published a report on the skills situation in the UK engineering industry; this has been delayed somewhat by the Coronavirus crisis but, nonetheless, still has some valuable pointers to issues that will affect the medium and long-term recovery.
While we have always had problems from time to time with people offering to supply lists of contacts from MACH, there has been a spate of these recently (we received over 60 on one day this week!), including some that offer MTA lists and one that even used our logos on the e-mail. These are all bogus as we don’t sell our lists to anyone else.
Finally, a message from James Selka, CEO of MTA. “Can I use this opportunity to thank all our members for their incredible support during this most challenging of years and we look forward to continuing to serve you in the New Year. In the meantime, on behalf of all of the team at the MTA (Byron, Cristina, Geoff, James, James, Josh, Katie, Lauren, Lorraine, Nicola and Sami) we wish you a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year”.