QMT News: March 2013
English manufacturing SME’s optimistic - MAS

Figures released on 26th February show English manufacturing SMEs are optimistic for growth in 2013, reinforcing recent economic forecasts predicting an upturn in the sector.

The latest Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer reveals that 43% of companies questioned have seen an increase in their order books over the past six months (+4% on the previous survey), with a massive 62% expecting sales turnover to grow between now and June 2013.

The predicted expansion is backed up by the number of firms expecting to take on staff (up 7% to 39%) and those investing in new premises and machinery (up 3% to 44%).

In line with the economic dip seen in the last quarter, slightly fewer companies (43%) have reported an increase in sales turnover from the previous six months.
Tellingly, 45% of manufacturers cited the availability of specific skills as a barrier to growth, whilst time appears to be the ‘new gold’ for management teams, with 27% admitting they do not have enough capacity to work on their businesses as they are too busy firefighting or dealing with everyday management issues.

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