The UK manufacturing industry has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, but positive signs suggest a promising future is on the horizon.
Although the sector experienced a contraction in Q1 2023 and a decline of -3 per cent is forecast for the year as a whole, renewed optimism and confidence in the UK economy suggests that any downturn won’t be as deep or prolonged as first anticipated.
In this article, we’ll explore the current state of the UK manufacturing industry and the positive outlook for its growth.
Room For Optimism?
Despite the recent challenges faced by manufacturers, industry leaders remain optimistic about the future for the sector and are committed to growth. For this reason, manufacturers continue to invest in their operations, employ skilled workers (when they can find them!), and embrace technological innovation, unlike in previous recessions when they tended to retreat into a disaster mentality.
Manufacturing business leaders are displaying their usual resilience and adaptability, positioning their companies for success in the future.
The Strength Of UK Manufacturing
While the UK manufacturing industry faces competition on the global stage, there are many advantages to producing goods at home, particularly in highly skilled and high-tech sectors.
According to the Boston Consulting Group (BGC), the UK remains the 9th largest manufacturing nation globally, with an annual output of £183 billion. The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates the value of the UK's engineering and manufacturing sector to be higher at £645bn, equivalent to 32 per cent of the country’s gross economic output. Whichever figure you choose, it’s clear that the UK’s manufacturing industry makes a significant contribution to the country’s economic outlook and offers important potential for its future growth.
2024: Return To Growth
Despite the contraction this year, forecasts predict that the UK manufacturing industry will return to growth in 2024. Projections indicate a modest growth rate of at least 0.8% for the sector, a result of increased confidence in the UK economy and manufacturers’ efforts to adapt to changing market dynamics. The resilience and determination of the industry to bounce back are key factors driving this anticipated growth.
The Positive Subcontractor Sector
The subcontractor sector within UK manufacturing has shown notable positivity in the first three months of the year surging by 60% compared to the previous quarter. This further strengthens the overall industry outlook as subcontractors are vital contributors to manufacturing supply chains and the economic viability and success of small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular. Their positive performance reflects growing demand and a willingness to invest in outsourced manufacturing services.
Specialist Outsourced Precision Machining From Hone-All
At Hone-All, we offer expert precision machining services for manufacturers who choose to outsource their specialist requirements.
With decades of experience in the sector and an unwavering commitment to the highest standards, we are the first choice for outsourcing CNC honing, CNC turning, deep hole boring and drilling, with all work completed in-house at our Bedfordshire facility.