Manufacturers predict economic growth in 2017 despite Brexit disruption

It has been predicted that over two-thirds of manufacturing firms are set to benefit and grow in 2017. This news comes despite the impact of Brexit and are based on findings from the annual Business Census 2017 report.

Company Check carried out a survey of 1,300 firms during November and December. The results found that 70% of companies are expected to enjoy an increased turnover rate over the next working year.

However, 34% of manufacturers have said that the vote to leave the EU has already had a negative impact on their business when they were questioned about Brexit. 22% of manufacturing firms said that the impact has been positive so far and 42% have reported that there has been no change at all. 30% of all the companies surveyed reported a negative response about Brexit. 15% found Brexit as a positive factor and 55% have said they have noticed no change as of yet.

Katie Deverill from Company Check said: "Brexit may have already had a chilling effect on future business growth in some places, but business leaders still appear confident individually about their prospects for the year ahead."

It has been noted by over a quarter of manufacturers that their local government were doing a good job to support the business growth around them. This result is in-line with the 30% who believed that the government were doing a good enough job nationally to help support business growth.

"There's also high levels of disaffection with local authorities when it comes to them supporting and nurturing business growth," said Deverill. "The powers that be should take note of these figures and recognise that something in the current system just isn't working."

Concerns have grown about political events across the country and national concern has almost doubled compared to results gathered in 2016. Brexit and other political issues have been named as the biggest challenge facing businesses. Manufacturing issues were lower than expected, with 28% concerned whereas the economy topped the list at 33%. The economy was the biggest challenge for manufacturers last year as well. 28% of firms stated that they were fearful of an economic decline in 2017, in-line with the UK average.

The Managing Director of the British manufacturers Harvey Water Softeners, Martin Hurwoth, said: "The manufacturing industry has experienced some challenges, but the latest GDP figures are proof that we are growing through uncertainty.

"In a post-Brexit economy, manufacturing in the UK will be more important than ever. We need bold action and certainty to give companies a reason to stay here and invest."

"The results of the Business Census show that the economy is still a concern in our industry and we recognise there are some potentially challenging times ahead. But we're confident in our future as a British family business and are positioned for growth, with plans to invest significantly in the local area and R&D."

Full results from Company Check's report can be seen in the infographic below:


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