Recession? What recession? It seems the news is all about nervousness and uncertainty in the face of the credit crunch and all the mind boggling billions in asset wipeouts amongst the financial institutions.
But listening to exhibitors at the recent Mach 2008 exhibition in Birmingham last month, you could be forgiven if you thought you were living in a different world - there was a buoyancy and a feel-good factor that hadn’t been experienced for a good many years.The show was a sellout with over 500 exhibitors and visitor numbers were up by 21%. Exhibitors were reporting sales of machines and systems off their stands, something that used to happen from a golden age long since gone - or so it seemed. And it wasn’t an isolated phenomenon.
Again exhibitors were saying generally they had a good 2007 and good first quarter 2008. And despite the market uncertainties, order taking and enquiries were still holding up. In Control exhibition in Germany it was much the same.. Checking some of the economic indicators would seem to suggest that manufacturing is still holding up well and not just in the UK. The German machine tool industry is booming, for example , and the Italian industry is doing well, at least domestically, with record order values. For the UK, one possible silver lining for manufacturing industry exporters is the decline in value of sterling against the euro by 15 -18%, making our goods cheaper after years of high exchange rates. But these higher rate have made us leaner, more innovative and more competitive. Hopefully, we shall see a pay off.
Talking about innovation, check out our web site www.qmtmag.com and see our edited video clips of the Control and mach show in the Video Showcase section