According to a major survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and insurer AIG, UK manufacturers are feeling less confident about their future in the run up to Brexit.
The EEF/AIG Annual Senior Executive Survey shows that, while companies still expect to see growth in domestic and export orders and employment in the coming year, they are much less confident than a year ago, especially about prospects for the UK economy.
According to the survey of 242 companies, carried out in November 2018, a mere 6 per cent of companies are more optimistic about global conditions ahead of Brexit, down from over one quarter last year.
The findings also show that half of companies see more risks than opportunities, with exchange rate volatility, customs checks and relocation of major customers away from UK being the biggest Brexit related concerns, and cyber security the biggest non-Brexit related risk.
Furthermore, the impact of a weaker sterling bringing upward pressure on input costs was also cited as a significant risk by three quarters of companies.
Commenting on the findings, EEF Chief Executive, Stephen Phipson, says: “While companies are naturally optimistic by their very nature, the spectre of Brexit is now very front of mind for manufacturers. This is bringing with it a whole host of risks from increased exchange rate volatility to rising input costs which right now are very difficult to plan for.
“Business is crying out for some certainty and clarity on moving to a transition period and will have watched the pre-Christmas pantomime in Parliament with dismay. This situation cannot continue.”
Simon Gallimore, Manufacturing Industry Group Lead of AIG, adds: “Manufacturing is key to the UK’s performance on the world stage, and plays an important part in improving the health of the economy. Minimising disruption to the industry and protecting revenues will be of paramount importance in the coming year.”
At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to the manufacturing sector are able to assist with all aspects of business performance, including ensuring that adequate measures are put in place to protect the health of your business, both now and for the future.