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Members' Forum and Spring Update

Wednesday saw the MTA’s first ever Spring Update held at the MTC in Coventry. The event was an economic update with information from Andy Goodwin, Lead UK Economist at Oxford Economics, and the MTA’s Statistician Geoff Noon focusing on key sectors, the UK market and the effects of Brexit on the machine tools market.

Before the Forecast Update members were able to participate in the latest MTA Members’ Forum; a chance for members to find out the latest from the MTA as well as input to services from the association. One message that came across very clearly was that members present didn’t have a clear view of the whole range of services that the Association provides – so we will be undertaking a communications exercise to explain more of what we do to you.

Hot topics included MACH 2016 - in relation to which the MTA’s Head of Events, James Fudge, gave a rundown of some of the results and Brexit which on which the MTA’s Head of External Affairs, Paul O’Donnell, spoke.

After the Forum attention turned the Economics. Inevitably, the macro-economic picture is dominated by the outcome of the EU Referendum on 23rd June and the two very different scenarios for the UK economy driven by the result; it is rare for there to be such a binary outlook for the economy.  The forecast is based on a vote to “remain”, but Andrew also outlined the likelihood of significantly weaker currency, higher inflation and slower growth if the decision is to “leave”.  Overall, although the prospects are for the UK economy to continue to grow, the pace of the expansion is disappointing and below the long-run trend for the UK economy.

In the 2nd part of the session, Geoff Noon explained the changes in the MTA’s forecast for the UK machine tool and cutting tool market.  For cutting tools, the outlook has been downgraded a little, partly because 2015 ended weaker than we had anticipated, but mainly because of a lower level of growth now being expected for most of the main customer industries.  For machine tools, the main change is mainly the effect of a large order being delivered at the end of 2015 rather than spread across the quarters either side of the turn of the year. The overall trend also masked large sectoral discrepancies with the Automotive sector particularly strong and the ‘machinery’ sector (which is heavily exposed to the Oil and Gas industry) underperforming.

MTA Members can download the presentations (as pdf files) from the Economic Update from the web-site at http://www.mta.org.uk/members-area/mta-forecast-documents (you will also find the latest the forecast documents on this page) or if you contact Geoff Noon (e-mail gnoon@mta.org.uk) we will send you a copy (please use this route if you would like them in PowerPoint format)

Booking is now live for the Forecast Seminar on 20th October 2016 which will be held at Renishaw. Full details can be found at: www.mta.org.uk/whats-new/events/forecasting-seminar