Manufacturing output in the East of England is on the up, EEF survey shows

Rising manufacturing output in the UK has led to industry body EEF upgrading its growth forecasts. P

Rising manufacturing output in the UK has led to industry body EEF upgrading its growth forecasts. Picture: David Jones/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Manufacturers in the East of England are riding a surging wave in global markets, according to an industry body.

EEF's second quarter manufacturing outlook survey showed the sector is defying predictions that political uncertainty from Brexit and the snap general election may impact on trading conditions.

Compiled with business advisory firm BDO, the survey points to continued confidence that manufacturing will enjoy further expansion in the second half of the year.

In the East firms have seen a strong pick-up in output after more muted results last quarter. A balance of 38% of companies saw output rise over the period, while a balance of 36% saw a rise in new UK orders.

Investment levels have also nudged upwards, with a balance of 4% of companies increasing their planned capital expenditure compared with a negative balance (-11%) last quarter.

While the export performance has been affected by the weaker pound, the EEF/BDO survey showed manufacturers' views of demand prospects in exports markets have become steadily more positive over the past 12 months.

Demand in European markets looks particularly buoyant with three-fifths of companies nationally (61%) reporting positive demand conditions.

Most Read

EEF regional director for the East of England Charlotte Horbin said: 'Industry is reporting that output and orders have continued to head higher in recent months and the recovery in manufacturing globally is a big part of the story.

'It's very encouraging that UK manufacturers have positioned themselves to capitalise on the windfall of a competitive pound and resurgent world economy.'

In response to the survey EEF has revised its manufacturing growth forecasts up to 1.3% in 2017 and 0.5% in 2018 (up from 1% and 0.1% in Q1).