Are we in a double dip recession? Last month’s preliminary figures from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) says so, It’s figures show a contraction of 0.2% of GDP for the first three months of the year. What about manufacturing? Again, ONS figures show a 0.1% contraction, but the CBI survey says there was some growth, albeit a weak 0.1%.
If I were to go by what exhibitors were saying to me at the MACH exhibition held in Birmingham last month, I just don’t recognise this anaemic scenario. Sure, as always, companies are fighting for business and every order won is hard won. But, people were saying that there is lots of genuine activity out there and some good business to be had. Enquiries were strong and well qualified, not just keeping quotes updated iin the hope of an eventual release of funds when the upturn comes. The body language was good.
So who’s right, the national surveys or what being said on the ground? Time will tell. And of course, the big concern is the Euro and the hole the eurozone seem to be unable to dig themselves out of. There is clearly a lot more to happen, both politically and financially in Europe. in the next few months. Whatever happens, the health of UK manufacturing industry will be greatly affected by these events. Here’s hoping.....
- Editor QMT