The UK manufacturing sector could be in for something of a resurgence according to forecasts out today, which point to a strong and growing demand for UK goods overseas over the next two years, as an indicator of potentially improving economic fortunes.
The Engineering Employers Federation, which produces regular forecasts on the manufacturing sector, projected a growth in national manufacturing output over 2010 of 3.7%, with a similar rise of 3.2% scheduled for the following year – figures which are supported by a forecast rise in employment numbers, particularly amongst part-time and casual staff.
However, the report cited fears over public sector cuts and the likely impact of tightening government spending as the economy continues its slight turn towards growth.
Likewise, difficulties in the US economy and the widespread uncertainty surrounding the immediate future direction of US government policy could undermine the rising demand for UK manufactured products overseas, and could resultantly hamper the recovery of the industry.
However the news will come as a pleasant surprise for the manufacturing industry, particularly advanced manufacturing sectors, which have outperformed in recent years as a result of rising demand amongst the EU, US and emerging economies.