East Midlands manufacturers face mixed start to year amid weak economy

East Midlands manufacturers are facing a mixed outlook as they enter the new year, yet confidence remains resilient despite the overall weakness of the UK economy, according to new figures.

Make UK predicts modest growth for manufacturing, with forecasts indicating a 0.1% increase in 2024 and 0.8% in 2025, both lagging behind the broader economy.

These insights stem from the Q4 Manufacturing Outlook survey jointly conducted by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO, released today.

The survey reveals that East Midlands’ output experienced a decline in the initial months of the year.

However, there’s optimism for a significant uptick in both output and orders during the second quarter, especially with orders anticipated to be particularly robust over the next three months.

Chris Corkan, region director for the Midlands at Make UK, said: “After the economic and political shocks of the last few years there is now strong confidence among manufacturers in the East Midlands, despite the mixed picture. While economic growth is not exactly supercharged, the positive announcements in the Autumn Statement and Budget can at least allow them to plan with more certainty for the future.”

Jonathan Lanes, head of manufacturing at BDO in the Midlands, said: “Manufacturers in the East Midlands have continued to show their ability to overcome wave after wave of challenges, but they cannot continue to do this indefinitely without some more long-term support from the Government. Despite the challenges faced across the region, labour demand remains strong with higher investment intentions than in any other English region.  That said, the next few months will be critical to the sector within the East Midlands.”