Manufacturers still seeing record growth

Manufacturers continue to record growth in the first quarter of 2008 and remain optimistic about the future despite broader concerns about the economy.

While output and order balances are weaker than in the last quarter of 2007, they remain above their long-term average, according to a survey by the EEF engineering employers̵7; body and consultants Grant Thornton. 

Investment intentions also remain strong and were up on the previous quarter, while more firms said they are expanding employment than cutting jobs and expect this to continue. 

Bob Hale of Grant Thornton said: "While manufacturing is this decade's true economic comeback kid, the sector is not completely immune to the inflationary pressures and weakening consumer spending that are already impacting on other sectors.

̶0;Manufacturers should give greater weight to defensive investment in the coming 12 months, with capital directed at reducing energy usage and improving production line efficiency to counter the challenge of the rising cost of raw materials."

Image: UK industry remains optimistic

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