A new survey by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF and the insurance firm AIG has found UK businesses and manufacturers are optimistic about growth in 2018, despite Brexit concerns.
The poll saw British manufacturers be surprisingly more optimistic about the global economy in the coming year than any time since 2014 due to a stronger growth in key export markets.
Whilst 19 percent of businesses surveyed were expecting a downturn in business, 40 percent of respondents predicted a year of growth for 2018.
Despite the positivity, there still remains uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process. The survey, which was carried out in November of 2017, found business share concerns over exchange rate volatility, loss of EU staff, and rising input costs.
“Manufacturers left 2017 in an upbeat mood and are set to outpace the rest of the economy again this year as the growth in global trade continues to gain momentum. That is not to say everything in the 2018 garden is rosy, however, as there are plenty of factors that could puncture this positive picture,” said Stephen Phipson, EEF’s chief executive.
“Chief among these is Brexit which has put the investment outlook on a knife edge. As such, it is essential that the government gets a transition deal as a matter of urgency and sets out with utmost clarity as to what kind of final deal it is looking for.
“In tandem with this, it also needs to crack on a pace with its industrial strategy. This will be vital in providing manufacturers with the confidence to invest in strategies to improve their productivity and enter new markets,” he added.
One-third of the manufacturers that took part in the EEF-AIG survey said they were just as likely to consider reshoring as offshoring in the year coming up to the UK’s departure from the EU. The same firms admitted to making contingency plans for a no deal Brexit.