Britain’s manufacturers are battening down the hatches amid a very sharp slowdown in activity and potential recession, according to the latest data from Make UK and business advisory firm BDO.
The findings in the Make UK/BDO Q3 Manufacturing Outlook survey show that the positive picture of the first half of the year has now gone sharply into reverse, with recruitment plans ceasing and orders slowing at home and abroad. As a result, Make UK has cut its forecast for growth for 2023 with output set to fall this year, while the forecast for next year is within the margins of no growth at all.
However, the overall picture marks a strongly emerging sectoral divergence with the other transport (largely aerospace), food and drink, and chemicals sectors continuing to perform very strongly relative to other sectors. The aerospace sector in particular has benefitted from a large number of orders for new aircraft over the last year, as well as a strong rebound in long haul international travel.
In response to the downturn, Make UK is calling on the Chancellor to use his limited resource to target measures on skills, digitalisation and productivity and energy efficiency at the upcoming Autumn Statement.