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The UK’s manufacturing sector is set to perform better this year than previously predicted, as the country’s “extremely strong” aerospace helps to drive growth, a new report said today.
The country’s manufacturing sector is only set to contract by 0.3 percent this year rather than 3.3 percent, according to a quarterly survey by trade association Make UK and accounting firm BDO.
The sector is then set to grow by 0.8 per cent in 2024, the report forecast.
Make UK and BDO’s report said that the “positive picture” reflects the continued recovery of the “extremely strong” aerospace sector.
The findings follow an ever-growing increase in aircraft orders from plane-makers over the last year and rising passenger demand for aviation more broadly, with airlines looking ahead to a period of booming traffic and pandemic-related supply chain issues edge towards recovery.
The Times reported today that Airbus is hoping to build the UK’s first new helicopter factory in decades, if it beats rivals Lockheed Martin and Leonardo for a £1.1bn Ministry of Defence (MoD) contract.
However, James Brougham, senior economist at Make UK, added a word of caution.
“Manufacturers are seeing a gradually improving picture but the word ‘gradually’ is doing a lot of heavy lifting,” he said.
Richard Austin, BDO’s national head of manufacturing, added that supply chain issues continue to be an “endemic issue” for the businesses he talks to.
“These issues cannot be overlooked by policymakers or we run the risk of tepid-at-best growth for UK manufacturing while neighbouring countries outpace us,” he said.
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