Manufacturing demand 'on the rise'

Updated: 
ManufacturingA growing number of firms are recruiting workers amid a strong start to the year for manufacturing, according to new research.

The EEF manufacturers' organisation said wavering confidence last year had turned out to be temporary, with companies enjoying stronger than expected activity.

The organisation reported a "notable improvement" in UK demand for goods, with increased confidence about orders from home and abroad.

Investment and recruitment plans have picked up in recent months, according to a survey of more than 400 companies.

EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: "Manufacturing indicators hit a soft patch at the end of last year as events in global markets weighed on confidence and held back order growth in some sectors.

"But our latest survey confirms this was a temporary setback rather than the beginning of a more worrying trend for both the sector and the economy more widely."

Ms Lee continued: "The confidence shown in our survey again demonstrates the resilience of manufacturing in the face of a changing global outlook.

"But while this is feeding through to a continuing willingness to recruit and invest, there is still more that needs to be heard from government to ensure that this investment proceeds and generates much needed growth."

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