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Epicor survey finds UK manufacturing maintaining growth despite Brexit

Epicor's Global Growth Index survey highlights resilience of UK manufacturing

Epicor’s latest Global Growth Indexsurvey has revealed the UK’s manufacturing sector has sustained growth, despite continued political and economic uncertainty.

Manufacturing business growth has continued to rise over the past year, but at a much slower rate than the previous 12 months. Despite political uncertainty and the difficulty in recruiting and retaining skilled staff, there has been a marginal 1% risein the number of businesses reporting growth.

Political volatility and uncertainty continue to be a common cause for concern across the globe. Nearly three quarters of UK businesses (72%) stated that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is also still a big threat, with the percentage across all EMEA-based respondents totaling 46%. Despite this, business growth over the last 12 months has been stable, but respondents admit it hasn’t been easy. The survey found that 44% found it challenging and 18% feel that staff skills and experience have played a detrimental part in maintaining growth.

“The manufacturing industry plays an integral role in our global economy and people forget that it is responsible for delivering important products we use every day,” said Epicor CEO, Steve Murphy. “As such, the health of the manufacturing industry is something we should all be concerned about. While it’s good news to see that growth in this industry is still taking place, we need to keep a close eye on what factors are contributing to this growth and what factors are causing a lag. The information in the Global Growth Index empowers businesses so they can make strategic plans that will best position them for the future.”

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Now in its third year, the Epicor Global Growth Index is designed to measure the state of worldwide business growth within the manufacturing industry. The Index tracks the performance of businesses—year on year—within 13 territories across a number of key indicators, including turnover, profits, headcount, and product range. Compared to last year’s results, the Growth Index rose by one percent, compared to 3.7 percent in the previous 12-month period.  

The table below shows the Global Growth Index results for 2019 across six key indicators, compared with figures from 2018 and 2017. Percentages represent the median average number of businesses that have reported growth in each of the key growth metrics.

 Epicor Growth Performance Indicator

 “Investing in the right technology, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, can help businesses better plan for change by improving visibility and insights into current operational workflows. This can help alleviate stress and enable people to deal with challenges more effectively, by providing the flexibility, agility, and adaptability needed to respond to market conditions and customer demands. Technology can also have a positive influence on other factors including work ethic and staff recruitment and retention,” concluded Reid Paquin, research director, IDC.