The MTA is forecasting an uncertain environment for the UK machine tool sector over the next year. At the MTA’s annual Forecast Seminar, held at the University of Warwick’s International Digital Laboratory, it was anticipated that 2012 will be a stronger year than 2011, but that the outlook for 2013 was uncertain.
There is an increased level of caution about demand, especially related to UK based machine tool purchasers who are exporting to Europe where demand is likely to be weaker in the coming year. Growth is expected to return in 2014 as the general economic situation improves.
The first presentation was given by John Walker, Chairman of Oxford Economics, which has been the MTA’s partner in these forecasts for 25 years. Mr Walker focused on the outlook for the major global economies. While the prospects for the US, if the fiscal cliff can be avoided, are looking quite bright over the next 3-4 years, the situation in Europe is less optimistic. The threat of a collapse of the Euro hangs over the continent and the austerity measures being implemented by a range of countries means that growth is going to be limited in most economies. However, Mr Walker stressed the political determination of countries like Germany and France to ensure that the Euro did not fail and his belief that this determination would continue.
At this year’s Seminar there was a special presentation by Peter Kelly, Managing Director of LMC Automotive, on the prospects for the motor vehicle sector. He spent some time looking at the prospects for European car makers, especially those who are focused on the middle market. He highlighted a clear distinction between most of the key players in this part of the market and those who have premium brands where the outlook is brighter.
The presentations also featured the latest outlook from the Global Machine Tool Forecast project which MTA subscribes to through its membership of CECIMO.
Notes to editors:
The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is the UK trade association for the Manufacturing Technologies industry. The MTA sits at the core of the engineering based manufacturing with the aim to promote the use and innovation of advanced technology in manufacturing.
Further information about the MTA and our members can be found on our web site at www.mta.org.uk