‘Flat’ manufacturing figures show need for targeted sector support

By MHA

06 Feb 2024

Ginni Cooper - web landscape.jpg.jpg

The latest UK manufacturing performance data highlights how conditions in the sector are still challenging and that more targeted support is needed for manufacturers.

That’s according to one the region’s leading advisors to manufacturing and engineering firms commenting after the publication of S&P Global’s UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data.

The index was revised lower to 47 in January 2024, slightly up on December’s figure of 46.20, but down from the preliminary estimate of 47.3. Output and new orders continued to decline during this period, resulting in more job cuts and reduced purchasing and stock holdings, according to the data. 

Manufacturers also faced challenges in their supply chains due to the Red Sea crisis, which forced input deliveries to be redirected from the Suez Canal. Despite these difficulties, UK manufacturers remained optimistic, with business sentiment reaching a four-month peak.

Ginni Cooper, partner and head of the manufacturing sector team at MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “This month’s Manufacturing PMI is flat, which highlights how conditions are still challenging for the sector. 

“The recent announcement from Tata Steel about the closure of the last two blast furnaces at the Port Talbot site will mean that the UK is the only nation in the G20 that isn’t able to produce its own steel. This does not send a positive message to the rest of the sector. 

“The manufacturing industry is in the midst of a perfect storm. There are signs that there will be an impact on supply chains due to the events in the Red Sea and potentially also the new border controls on imports from the EU that were implemented yesterday, which will lead to further disruptions. 

“These challenges are compounded by the uncertainty of when interest rates might fall, leading to further cost pressures. Manufacturers are going to be starting to feel the impact of corporation tax that came into force last April, as well as the increase in the minimum wage, which will have a knock-on effect and tax repercussions.” 

Ginni said the upcoming spring budget was an ideal opportunity for the government to announce targeted support for the manufacturing sector.

She added: “With the budget a matter of weeks away, UK manufacturing is keen for the government to seize the opportunity to make a decisive impact with targeted measures, tax breaks and grants to help stimulate growth and put the brakes on further decline. 

“Full expensing, announced in last year’s Autumn Statement, while helpful, was a drop in the ocean compared to what manufacturers were looking for and hasn’t given them the confidence to invest. 

“With an election also on the horizon, the sector needs strong leadership and a renewed, comprehensive Industrial Strategy focused on getting to grips with the challenges the sector is facing, whichever party is in power.”

Latest news

1

Breck to deliver £150m of affordable homes over four years Breck Development In Progress

Breck to deliver £150m of affordable homes over four years

18 Jul 2024

2

Business board launches to support county's economic growth Lancashire Business Board

Business board launches to support county's economic growth

18 Jul 2024

3

Thirteen new contract wins in three months for seoBusiness SeoBusiness Contract Wins

Thirteen new contract wins in three months for seoBusiness

19 Jul 2024

4

Blackburn Hotspots: Filling a big hole Blackburn Hotspots Lineup

Blackburn Hotspots: Filling a big hole

19 Jul 2024

5

GoDaddy chief returns to Lancaster to collect honorary degree Aman Bhutani

GoDaddy chief returns to Lancaster to collect honorary degree

19 Jul 2024

Bec Web Strip 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Leverage Lancashire Business View platforms

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Build your network
Improve your SEO
Gain coverage in the magazine
Sign-up
Events
Lancashire Built Environment Conference
BEC 315 X 315 Px
Networking
25 Sep 2024

Lancashire Built Environment Conference

Conference and Exhibition Centre, Winter Gardens Blackpool, FY1 1HL

08:30 - 13:00

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers
WENDY BOWERS RISE Illustrstion copy.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Seminars
11 Jun 2024 - 04 Dec 2024

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Clayton le Moors, BB5 5JR

09:00 - 16:30

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day
Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 13.55.10.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
30 Jul 2024

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Preston, PR1 3LT

10:00 - 12:00

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1
Blue-Modern-Land-Travel-Youtube-Thumbnail-2-1024x576.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
30 Jul 2024 - 08 Oct 2024

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

09:30 - 13:00

Chamber Breakfast Networking
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
31 Jul 2024

Chamber Breakfast Networking

Pye Motors, Morecambe, LA3 3PF

08:00 - 10:00

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
31 Jul 2024

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months

Online, Online, Online

08:00 - 09:30

Online Women's Health Clinic
clinic.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
06 Aug 2024

Online Women's Health Clinic

x, Online, x

12:00 - 12:00

International Coworking Day Open Day
1.png.png
LBV Hub Social
09 Aug 2024 - 09 Aug 2024

International Coworking Day Open Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Prestin, PR1 3 LT

10:00 - 13:00

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
12 Aug 2024

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing

Lancaster Golf Club, Lancaster, LA2 0AJ

14:00 - 13:00

Understanding Menopause
menopause.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
15 Aug 2024

Understanding Menopause

x, Online, x

12:30 - 13:15

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre
Sub36 Socialbee Centre
Networking
15 Aug 2024

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre

The Bee Centre, Chorley, PR6 8LZ

15:00 - 17:00

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Aug 2024

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

10:00 - 13:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin