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The annual Make UK/Santander Investment Monitor shows that in the last two years the proportion of turnover investment by manufacturers increased on the back of a robust growth picture in the world economy.

Looking forward, however, the picture is somewhat different with just over a third (34%) of companies planning to increase their investment in plant and machinery, the lowest figure in the survey’s five-year history. This sentiment is especially pronounced for small companies where three-quarters of companies are refraining from increasing their investment in the coming two years.

The brakes on investment will have significant impact on attempts to improve the UK’s productivity performance because the opportunity costs of this lost investment are significant. This will likely widen the UK’s capital gap even further with our competitors who are not spending their time dealing with the political and economic complexities of leaving the EU.

It is understandable given the current uncertain political and economic conditions in the UK that Manufacturers are being cautious in their key investment decisions. It is important that business prioritise investments that will impact positively on their competitiveness, productivity and that widens their market base both inside and outside the EU.
Paul Brookes Head of Manufacturing, Santander

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Economic indicators / Industry report