Manufacturing firms are, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, optimistic about their 2022 prospects!

Wednesday 9th February 2022

Crowe’s Manufacturing Outlook Report 2021/22 indicates significant positivity within the sector, with growth expectations markedly more encouraging than has been the case in recent years. This suggests that manufacturers may be on the threshold of a significant improvement in their fortunes and with the right support and a fair wind, augers well for their long-term future. For the full story please read the news bulletin below issued by Insider Media today.

Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 9th February 2022


Manufacturing firms ‘upbeat’ despite challenging period

Manufacturing companies are more upbeat about 2022 than might be expected after a challenging couple of years, according to new data, with the importance of recruiting and retaining staff with the right skillsets highlighted.

Crowe's Manufacturing Outlook Report 2021/22 reveals that in the run up to the end of the year, demand drove both inflation and economic growth.

Turnover growth expectations among manufacturing companies were generally positive, noticeably more so than 2019 or 2020, despite 91 per cent of respondents saying that profits have been affected by the price and availability of raw materials.

The report also notes that recruiting and retaining staff with the right skillsets will be "even more important this year" as growth accelerates.

Johnathan Dudley, partner and national head of manufacturing at Crowe, said: "2021 was a year when so much challenged the manufacturing sector, as our survey results reveal.

"It was a year of shortages, inflated costs, demand outstripping the ability to supply and the growing realisation that at some point there will be a real stretch on working capital funding requirements.

"The full impact of the UK's exit from the EU will only likely be felt as the interim arrangements end and trade agreements are finally put in place with various global trading partners."

Stephen Morley, president of the Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), which partnered with Crowe on the report, added: "Having worked very closely with our members over the past two years, the findings reflect what we've been seeing 'at the coalface' of manufacturing.

"Supply chain issues are still a major concern and in particular semiconductors, with this likely to persist throughout the year. We've also seen shortages across several commodities and increased costs and delays of all goods coming into the UK."

Morley noted that with the right support, the long-term future of UK manufacturing "can be bright".

"Our challenge is to ensure all our members and the rest of industry get through this period and emerge in a much stronger position to take advantage of the opportunities when they arrive."