Recovery steady in manufacturing technologies
Figures from MTA’s monthly survey of members for March indicate that business confidence has remained high over the first quarter of 2011. The results from the MTA’s new, more detailed, monthly survey also show that growth in UK sales has outweighed export sales; however a strong improvement in export business is expected in the second quarter of the year with respondents expecting overseas business to outperform domestic orders.
March marks the first publication of the new MTA Business Survey which continues trends of the previous Monthly Flash Survey and Quarterly Trends Survey. The new Business Survey reported a very slight reduction of new orders for March compared to February’s high level; however a strong improvement in order intake was expected by respondents in the second quarter of the year. In March, an increase in invoiced sales was reported by the greater part of respondents, with a stronger month-on-month increase for sales in the domestic market compared to the overseas market.
The majority of respondents indicated an increase in employment over the first quarter of 2011, however a large percentage of companies are reporting that a shortage of skilled labour has affected the level of activity in their business. Speaking about the figures Graham Dewhurst, the MTA’s Director General said: “Overall these are a reassuring set of figures. The first quarter has been a good one for our members who supply the enabling technologies to British Manufacturing – which bodes well for the sector as a whole. The news that they are looking forward to further increases in the second quarter is welcome too. But there are challenges on the horizon in the shape of shortages in skilled labour and international competition. There are export orders out there to compete for and our companies need Government to be straining every sinew to support their efforts.”
(Source: MTA, 3 May 2011)
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