Small UK manufacturers report increased sales despite slowdown » SMEInsider

Small UK manufacturers report increased sales despite slowdown

Around half of small manufacturers in the UK are planning to recruit and invest in new technologies after reporting an increase in current and predicted sales.

Despite predictions of a slowdown, 59% of respondents to the latest Manufacturing Barometer  indicated that turnover increased in the previous six months (up 4% on the last report), with over two thirds (70%) expecting further increases over the next quarter.

Half of the firms surveyed are still looking to recruit and 54% said they were planning to increase investment in new technology – the highest figure recorded in the six-year history of the Barometer and an indication of a movement towards more advanced manufacturing.

However, respondents did reveal that the burden of regulation and the pressure of paying higher salaries are the two main concerns for England’s SME manufacturing base. Nearly half of companies cited regulation as their biggest burden, followed by the pressure to pay higher salaries (34%) and securing appropriate finance or investment (33%).

The skills gap was also highlighted as a major concern, with 32% of manufacturing employers admitting they could not find new recruits with the skills they need.

Surprisingly, less than a third (30%) said that cashflow hindered their future development.