Manufacturing Outperforming Forecasts, Confidence Returning mdi-fullscreen

The new Manufacturing Outlook report from Make UK and BDO for the first three months of 2023 shows plenty of welcome optimism in the manufacturing sector, with a sharp uptick in confidence, investment and output compared to the last quarter. BDO’s Head of Manufacturing, Richard Austin, even dares to talk of the “the green shoots of growth beginning to take shape“. Albeit with enough caution to save face…

The data shows improved performance across the board for the sector:

“Both Employment and Investment Intentions increased on balance compared to last quarter. The improvement in the latter metric is particularly interesting as manufacturer’s confidence in investment plans had recently hit negative balances just one quarter ago […] Investment Intentions increased from -5% to +14% as growing order books, supply-chain disruption easing, and cooling inflation has allowed businesses room to focus on the future and less so on short-term issues.

Both business confidence and UK economy confidence improved this quarter. This was due to improvements in most UK nations and regions who are feeling slightly more positive about the next twelve months, except for the West Midlands which reported a marginal decline (despite remaining overall more positive than negative about the future).”

Manufacturing output balance increased to +21% over the last three months, with it forecast to rise to +32% over the next quarter. Similarly, the total orders balance has shot up to +28%, up from +6% in Q4 2022. Confidence is returning, orders are rising, and investment remains strong. Finally, some good news…

Read the full report below:

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