UK manufacturers staying positive despite sector downturn, says Sage

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According to a recent study commissioned by Sage, UK manufacturers are staying positive, despite the sector contracting as a result of a slowdown in the global economy. Sabby Gill, executive vice president and managing director, Sage UK and Ireland, explains.

UK manufacturers may be facing a bleak outlook from a slowdown in the global economy, but many are striving to stay positive – 99% of UK manufacturers said they were preparing for growth, and half said they are now more likely to invest in new technologies to get ahead of Brexit changes. The manufacturing sector may be down this month, but it’s far from out.

Our own research recently found that import-export changes are affecting decision-making for 96% of process manufacturers in the UK. At the same time, eight out of 10 are being impacted by changes to immigration. On both of these fronts, uncertainty is squeezing manufacturers hard.

Across the board, we’re seeing UK manufacturers taking the initiative to invest in skills and technology to give them the edge in a more difficult global market. At the same time, the majority believe that there’s a strong appetite in the market for locally-produced goods, regardless of price – the old days of cut-price imported goods winning the day are coming to an end. Over 80% of manufacturers believe the UK will be a world leader by 2025. There’s a determination to overcome these temporary problems.

The message from and for manufacturers is that dips like we’ve seen this month are not cause for despair. By equipping themselves with the right technologies and skills, UK manufacturers can ensure they have the flexibility and the resilience to meet whatever comes their way head-on. It’s not true that manufacturing is dying in this country. In fact, it’s just getting started.

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