As has been widely publicised recently, the manufacturing industry faces a risky future in 2016. In contrast to this time last year, when there was an almost universally positive outlook, this year is looking less stable as 2015 did not end as well as hoped.
According to EEF’s Executive Survey 2016, ‘weaknesses in global economy are not expected to dissipate, and… this will result in tough decisions for some manufacturers.’ Two fifths of manufacturers believe that risks outweigh opportunities for the year to come, not helped by the fact that economic volatility continues to dent their confidence – particularly in the UK, where position within the EU is potentially unstable. The Eurozone is expected to be an especially weak point for business growth.
The survey covers risks, views on the global outlook, international forecasts, and expectations. It shows that morale within the industry is down, with less manufacturers hopeful for their businesses, but they also expect some growth: developments are forecast to occur, just at a modest pace.
Manufacturers will have their work cut out to fight against the Executive Survey’s grim forecast. According to the report, top priorities should include: increasing investment in technology and innovation, increasing sales into new export markets, and ensuring supply chain flexibility by working more closely with customers and suppliers.