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Friday Brief Archive

2021

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Friday Brief

Welcome to the MTA Friday Brief for the 2nd week of 2021 - it seems a lot longer!  Apologies for the slight delay today which is because of a combination of some technical issues and the release of important data this morning.

There is little new on the Coronavirus front this week with the lockdown continuing, although we would draw your attention to the letter to the manufacturing sector from the new Secretary of State at BEIS, Kwasi Kwarteng MP, in which he emphasises that the sector should continue to work during the lockdown and that, where travel is needed (including staying overnight if necessary), either to get to/from work or for things like service and support activity at customers, then this is also allowed.

While on the subject of contact with Government, MTA has written to the Chancellor this week to set out what we see as the main priorities for the Budget statement that he is scheduled to make on 3rd March - you can see details of this I the article below.

Our Brexit news this week is a further set of links with updates on various topics, including a set of answers for FAQs from the Department of International Trade.  As part of this, if any members are having specific issues relating to the new UK Global Tariff, please let us know as DIT is keen to get feedback on this aspect of Brexit.

The GDP data published this morning showed a fall in November, for the first time in six months, driven inevitably by the new lockdown in England from the start of the month.  However, the manufacturing sector saw output increase in November, although the pattern between industries was somewhat patchy with aerospace seeing a fall in output.  In contrast, the automotive industry saw output grow to a level higher than before the crisis began in February, although this is slightly misleading as the industry was already seeing output fall by this point, so it was not the peak that was seen in other industries.

The other economic news is from Europe where industrial production grew again in November and the European Commission’s analysis shows that industry confidence also improved in the latest data.

The MTA Business Survey for December will be closing next week but there is still time to let us have your input via the web-site at www.mta.org.uk/mta-business-survey-dec20.

Our other news this week includes details of the Made Smarter Conference in March and a conference on the additive manufacturing sector from the DRAMA project which is headed by our colleagues at the MTC.  We also reflect on a new report from Make UK which looks at the prospects for investment and exports in the light of Brexit.

That’s all for this week - we will be back next Friday with more news from and for the manufacturing technology industry.  Until then, stay safe and have a good weekend.

DRAMA GRAND FINALE EVENT

DRAMA GRAND FINALE EVENT

DRAMA (Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing facilities for Aerospace), started in 2017, is a programme funded by the UK government and led by the UK’s National Centre for Additive Manufacturing to accelerate the uptake of additive for aerospace.

The consortium is led by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) - home to the UK's National Centre for Additive Manufacturing - and includes MTA Members Autodesk, NPL and Renishaw, as well as ATS, Ansys Granta, Midlands Aerospace Alliance and the University of Birmingham.

MTA BUDGET LETTER TO THE CHANCELLOR

MTA BUDGET LETTER TO THE CHANCELLOR

Although the budget is over six weeks away (Wednesday 3rd March), the consultation timescales mean that MTA has already submitted its letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  This highlights what we see as the key areas for intervention that are needed to stimulate the economy in a manufacturing friendly way in the context of both Covid-19 and Brexit.  The main topics were:

NEW SECRETARY OF STATE AT BEIS

NEW SECRETARY OF STATE AT BEIS

MTA Members will have seen the announcement of the appointment of Kwasi Kwarteng MP as Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  This came as a result of the previous incumbent, Alok Sharma MP, moving to focus entirely on his role of President of the UN COP26 climate conference.  The Association has written to Mr Kwarteng to congratulate him on his appointment and to outline our key messages for Government.

BUILDING AGILITY IN MANUFACTURING – MAKE UK REPORT

BUILDING AGILITY IN MANUFACTURING – MAKE UK REPORT

Fears over the impact of the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU and the attractiveness of the UK for both investment and talent are clouding the outlook for manufacturers in 2021, as more companies believe the opportunities outweigh the risks.  While many are investing in an effort to boost productivity and build agility and are confident about the prospects for their own companies and UK manufacturing as a whole, they are not so confident about the prospects of either the global or UK economies in 2021.

ECONOMIC NEWS

ECONOMIC NEWS

UK Manufacturing Output, November 2020:  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that manufacturing output was +0.7% higher than in October and over the latest 3 months (September, October and November) output was +4.7% higher than in the previous 3 months (June, July and August).  However, output in the latest 3 months was -5.5% lower than in the same months of 2019 and the level in November was only 95% of where it was in February.