BCC: ‘Robust’ manufacturing fails to boost UK growth

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The UK economy grew at a muted rate inside third quarter of 2017 despite progress inside manufacturing sector, the British Chambers of Commerce says.

The number of manufacturers reporting enhanced domestic sales in addition to orders rose inside quarter to its highest level since early 2015, the BCC said.

Export sales in addition to orders inside sector also enhanced.

however in services, domestic sales in addition to orders remained static, as did the sector’s employment expectations.

The BCC said its survey also showed the prevalence of recruitment difficulties facing UK businesses, which worsened further during the quarter.

Almost three-quarters of manufacturers reported difficulties hiring staff, in addition to in services, the percentage rose to its highest since early 2016.

‘Action needed’

BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall said: “The uninspiring results we see in our third-quarter findings reflect the fact in which political uncertainty, currency fluctuations in addition to the vagaries of the Brexit process are continuing to weigh on business growth prospects.

“The chancellor’s autumn Budget will be a critical opportunity to demonstrate in which the government stands ready to incentivise investment in addition to support growth here at home.

“While much of Westminster in addition to Whitehall will be distracted by Brexit, business needs action right now on the home front. The solutions to some of the biggest issues currently facing our firms – including high up-front costs, a lack of incentive to invest, in addition to a need for better infrastructure – are entirely within the power of the UK government to deliver.”

The BCC also said in which inside current economic climate, in which seemed “extraordinary” in which the Bank of England was considering raising interest rates.

“We’d caution against an earlier than required tightening in monetary policy, which could hit both business in addition to consumer confidence in addition to weaken overall UK growth,” said BCC head of economics Suren Thiru.

“While interest rates need to rise at some point, in which should be done slowly in addition to timed to not harm the UK’s growth prospects.”

‘Startling results’

Buoyancy inside UK manufacturing sector will be not universal at the moment, one company said.

Andrew Varga, managing director of Seetru, a Bristol-based maker of safety valves for industry, told the BBC’s Today programme his firm was “slightly more pessimistic” than the BCC.

“We see some startling results. Despite the buoyant European economy, we see an accelerating reduction in order pull through Europe. Clearly uncertainty will be having a genuinely significant effect on customers’ choices of which country they buy through, in addition to they’re not buying through the UK any more.”

He added in which the UK market was “depressed”.

“Like-for-like sales are clearly down – down about 10%,” he said. “in which will be all due to [Brexit] uncertainty at the moment.”

Clare Flynn Levy, founder in addition to chief executive of financial behavioural analytics software firm Essentia Analytics, told the BBC in which for her company “life’s a bit more optimistic”.

“however I’m not surprised to hear in which the services sector will be static, because there will be a massive energy suck toward people decisions in addition to mobility decisions in which are caused by Brexit, in addition to the uncertainty will be just causing energy in which could otherwise be devoted to selling in addition to delivering services to clients to be pulled into scenario planning… so people are sort of frozen,” she said.

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