North West manufacturing buoyant in 2021

The latest figures published by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO show that North West manufacturing has enjoyed a significant recovery in 2021.

The sector recorded a 'brutal' 10 per cent decline in output during 2020, but new forecasts predict that it is on course to recover the total loss from last year by the end of 2022.

Both UK orders and total orders were very strong for North West companies in the last quarter, while the output balance of +63 was the strongest of any UK region.

The employment balance of +53% was also the highest of any UK region for the second quarter in succession, showing job prospects in North West manufacturers are improving dramatically as firms seek to meet demand.

Make UK is now forecasting growth for the sector of +7.1% in 2021, tailing off slightly to +4.4% in 2022. Should these forecasts be met it will ensure the sector has recovered all the lost output from 2020.

Thanks to these robust growth prospects and increased business confidence, investment intentions have also increased substantially.

The road ahead is not without its challenges however, with supply chain disruptions and labour shortages threatening to dampen figures for the final quarter of the year.

June Smith, region director for Make UK in the North, said: “North West companies are seeing buoyant growth conditions as prospects continue to accelerate for manufacturers as economies at home and abroad continue to open up.

"However, supply chain shortages and the rapidly escalating increase in shipping costs are threatening put roadblocks on the road to faster growth despite the current optimism."

Photo courtesy of ELE Advanced Technologies and Made Smarter.

  • For further Lancashire business news, advice and analysis subscribe to Lancashire Business View or join the LBV Hub from just £2.50 per month. Click here to subscribe now.