The BBC has reported that UK manufacturing has returned to recession for the 3rd time in 8 years. This frightening statistic illustrates the challenges facing the manufacturing industry in the UK, with manufacturing output for the first quarter of 2016 being 1.9% lower than the same quarter in 2015.
However, there is some positive news, with PRW reporting that production of rubber and plastic products did show strong signs of recovery, increasing by 1.6%. For us, this is good news as we supply equipment such as Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to remove metal from the plastics process and we have seen a general increase in activity in that sector.
Manufacturing provides the cornerstone for any economy and the uncertainty surrounding the future existence of steel production in the UK continues to dominate the news. However, that uncertainty is not only related to steel production, with the UK’s referendum on EU membership gathering pace as we approach 23rd June. The predicted outcome of whether the UK will or will not remain in the EU is very much in the balance.
As a UK manufacturer of Magnetic Separators and Magnets, we are very aware of the challenges. Many of our customers are, themselves, manufacturers. We have broadened our sights and worked hard this year to develop business overseas with new distributors and representatives. The effect on our overseas business after the referendum is an unwelcome unknown and this is an uncertainty that doesn’t help when setting marketing and business strategies for the future.
These are challenging times for the UK’s manufacturing sector.