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Britain’s manufacturers are firmly in a nosedive as the perfect storm of Brexit uncertainty, slowdown in major markets and trade wars takes its toll.

The Make UK/BDO Q3 Manufacturing Outlook survey comes on the back of the latest PMI data earlier this week and shows all indicators have weakened significantly, with investment and domestic orders in particular turning negative.

The survey also shows that a weaker currency is providing no solace, contrary to claims from some politicians and commentators, with export orders down despite prices falling. This indicates foreign customers are not buying British goods even though they are 6% cheaper than this time last year.

Industry is facing a perfect storm of factors, compounded by a potential hard Brexit which could not be coming at a worse possible time. In normal circumstances a global slowdown on its own would be enough, but add trade wars and the biggest shock to our economy since the War and there seems little doubt that, barring a remarkable turnaround, the sector is heading for recession.
Seamus Nevin Chief Economist, Make UK
Global competition, skills shortages, lack of a coherent industrial strategy from government and continuing technological disruption has made UK manufacturing a challenging sector for decades. The long shadow cast by the possibilities of a no deal Brexit and the uncertainty of recent months has only added to the difficulties for the sector.
Tom Lawton Head of Manufacturing, BDO

Available resources

Manufacturing / Economic indicators / Industry report