A new MTA survey focusing directly on trends in the machine tool and tooling sectors reveals growing confidence in the industry alongside a definite recovery during in September and October. The survey, now in its fourth month, is starting to show some trends - some of which point to positive news for companies in engineering based manufacturing and even the wider economy.
The results are supported by positive sales for MACH 2010 exhibition which is now over 80% sold, a demonstration of growing confidence in the industry, say the MTA.
However, the MTA notes a concern that the level of invoiced sales is not showing a consequent increase and remains very low. This lag between orders and sales for machinery, while a known phenomenon in the market, is likely to cause especial trouble in the next few months as companies may struggle to find the cash to meet their working capital requirements.
Of course the dangers that cashflow can pose to companies at the time of exiting a recession are understood from previous recessions but the concern at this time must be significantly exacerbated by the difficulty of credit conditions. There is a danger that manufacturing could be pushed back into recession, even before the official statistics say it's out. Manufacturing, and British Business more widely, needs Government to make sure that the banks are honouring their pledges and standing ready to help the wider economy in return for the support they have received from the taxpayer.
The MTA thinks the survey data highlights the situation well and said that here's a degree of cautious optimism but there are potholes in the road ahead.
QMT News: December 2009
MTA Survey reports growing confidence and a definite recovery
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