Output is growing

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Britain’s manufacturers are maintaining healthy growth despite the uncertain economic outlook, in a survey by the manufacturers’ organisation the EEF and accountants BDO.

Output and orders are still growing, with all sectors reporting positive activity in the last three months, says the EEF/BDO Manufacturing Outlook survey, with exports remaining the main driver for growth.

However, an increasingly uncertain economic outlook is prompting a divergence of opinion about trading conditions and future expectations with the metals and electronics sectors among those reporting weaker order intake and more concern about prospects for expanding output.

EEF north region director Andy Tüscher said: “Manufacturers have bucked other negative indicators, holding out hope that the recovery has not yet run out of steam. Across much of the sector companies are still busy and orders are holding up, particularly from overseas markets. However, conditions have moved on from the broad-based recovery seen over the past 18 months to a more mixed picture, especially around the short term outlook.

“The growing challenges in the global economic environment, in particular, are casting a shadow over expectations and seem to be giving some companies pause for thought when it comes to investing and recruiting. But there is cautious optimism that growth will continue.”