Small and Medium Firms Are Growing In Confidence As Manufacturing Output Continues To Surge
Britain's manufacturing sector continues to mount a strong recovery, with production and new order figures reaching their highest point for 19 years last month.
The latest Purchasing Managers' Index published by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) shows that more companies were in a position to recruit new workers in November.
In fact, levels of employment in the manufacturing industry grew at the fastest rate since 2011.
The index posted a score of 58.4 for the month, which was up from 56.5 in October - a clear sign the sector is moving in the right direction.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said: "UK manufacturing continued to hit the high notes in November.
"Companies are currently creating around 5,000 jobs per month."
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have found it hard to bring new products to market in recent years, as funding for research and development purposes dried up during the recession.
However, economists are hopeful the recent recovery will be sustained over a prolonged period and the Markit/CIPS report suggested that trade is picking up across the globe.
The fact that more orders came in from the US, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium, the Middle East and Asia in November could give SMEs more confidence to expand.
Mr Dobson added that export orders are rising at a rate close to the 32-month highs reported in October.
"Sustaining the recovery remains the key and the news here is also positive," he continued.
Markit has been working on an international manufacturing index alongside JP Morgan, which showed production and new orders rose at the fastest rate since February 2011 - offering further reassurance to British SMEs that the global economy is starting to look far healthier.
US-based manufacturers had a particularly good month, while Japan also fared well.
There was a modest improvement in Chinese production, while the eurozone - a key export market for UK companies - displayed signs of recovery too.
The economy is moving in the right direction and the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses are certainly playing their part.
“Many manufacturing businesses are picking up orders from overseas and it is vital that SMEs take advantage of this new international interest in our products and goods.
“Growth brings opportunities, but it also provides plenty of issues that company bosses need to deal with and quickly overcome. It is vital that SMEs address these challenges head on and seek effective and early support from expert legal advisers who understand their sector.”
Fergal Dowling - Partner