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Manufacturing News, April 2018

A survey of more than 240 manufacturers has found a broadly positive outlook, with 52% of firms in the sector expecting to increase their staff numbers. The survey, conducted for the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking’s Manufacturing Barometer, found that the same proportion are more positive about the UK economy than this time last year, and four in ten (43%) expect Britain’s exit from the European Union to have a positive impact on their business.

 

Manufacturers also reported that wages are set to increase with 84% planning to award pay rises over the coming year. Almost half (47%) are expecting a rise in business activity over the next 12 months.

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Nearly half (48%) of UK manufacturers have been victims of a cyber-attack and 45% feel they lack access to tools for cybersecurity, according to a new report. The ‘Cyber Security for Manufacturing’ report EEF and AIG, and carried out by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), surveyed 170 UK companies. It found that 41% do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their levels of cyber risk; meanwhile, 45% feel that they lack access to the right tools for the job.

 

The threat of a cyberattack is also holding back manufacturers from investing in digital technologies, with one-third of those surveyed nervous of carrying out digital improvements and transformation programmes. The report also revealed that 12% of manufacturers have no process measures in place at all to mitigate against cyber threats.

 

The report says, there needs to be a focus on the requirements of our sector, recognising that a one-size-fits-all approach for business is insufficient and, equally as importantly, comprehensive security cannot be the exclusive domain of large businesses who can afford bespoke end-to-end protection. The document adds that the motivation for change is coming from manufacturers themselves, with 59% reporting that they have already been asked by a customer to demonstrate or guarantee the robustness of their cybersecurity processes, and 58% having asked the same of a business within supply chain.

 

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Manufacturing in general enjoyed an excellent year in 2017, expanding by 2.8%, its strongest growth since 2014. new technologies are to drive growth of UK’s £11bn mechanical equipment sector, according to report.  Encouragingly the healthy performance was broad based across sub sectors, and points to Significant momentum being carried over into 2018, according to a new EEF report.

 

The sector continues to benefit from the global economy upturn, which combined with the weak Sterling is providing a supportive boost to exports. While exports continue to thrive, the strong global economy is also bringing investment back online, supporting capital equipment manufacturers, and those in their supply chain.

 

EEF are forecasting growth of 2% in 2018, and 0.6% in 2019.