Results of the MTA’s monthly survey show order intake increased by 10% in December, and invoiced sales grew nearly 60%, supporting recent data published by the British Chambers of Commerce which showed that strong performance in the manufacturing sector during Q4 has helped boost the UK economy.
Not surprisingly, business confidence is on the increase; however a dip was seen in the quantity of inquiries over December. This apparently seasonal reduction in inquiries may be attributed to the shorter working month.
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The figures, which support earlier indications from across manufacturing as a whole, point to a business environment which is looking to invest in capital equipment. Companies in the manufacturing technology sector are taking advantage of the significant opportunities being created as the economy picks up and as British exports continue to enjoy a boost from the competitive exchange rate.
Looking forward over the next six months, 35% of respondents indicated investment would be higher or much higher in comparison to the previous six months, and only 5% said investment would be lower or much lower – hinting at a positive start for 2011. These results indicate that after a reduction in spending during 2009 and into 2010, businesses are looking to invest more to help reinvigorate the sector over the next two quarters.
The five overseas market briefings will be lead by UKTI business specialists, and will be focused on the Brazilian, Chinese, Russian, Indian, and South African markets.
Created to provide valuable information regarding international business and supply chain opportunities, the events will detail genuine case studies, and cover significant infrastructure investments and major projects abroad – many of which are being financed by government stimulus packages.
The biennial exhibition, which falls in an important year for the UK, marks a momentous anniversary for the MTA as it will be 100 years since the first MACH show was staged in Earl’s Court, London in 1912.
Graham Shearsmith, MACH Exhibition Manager for the MTA said, “Planning for the 2012 show is already underway. We will be building on the successes of the most recent show held in June this year, and working on areas of improvement to make 2012 bigger and better.
The event was the first time the Quartz range had been displayed at a show since its launch in June at MACH 2010 and interest was received from sectors as diverse as aerospace and automotive, as well as academic institutions.
The three, along with JCB, were picked to illustrate the strength of the UK’s engineering supply chain. The exhibition, which includes an MTA exhibit explaining the importance of value chains in the globalised world of manufacturing, is the first in a rolling programme that will use the building at 1 Victoria Street to highlight the UK’s strength in a range of industrial sectors.
Business Minister Mark Prisk, who had met representatives of all three companies during his visit to MACH 2010 said:
This month, the value of order intake fell slightly, though the cumulative trend remains high. Invoiced sales increased in comparison to the June figures with the majority of respondents reporting a rise in sales, taking the cumulative trend to its highest level for four months.
The balance for business confidence remains significantly positive despite feedback that the level of inquiries has fallen. For some businesses, the fall of inquires in July could be attributed to peak of business interest following MACH2010 which was staged in early June.