Manufacturing optimism remains despite slip in performance

Commenting on the latest results from the Markit/CIPS PMI manufacturing survey, Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM said:

'The latest CIPS PMI manufacturing statistics present a fairly uninspiring snapshot of the sector. However, at a recent EEF Future Awards event there was a real sense of optimism with manufacturers innovating, diversifying and expanding into new markets, including the overall winner Paxman Coolers. Invention, determination, skill and resilience are at the heart of our manufacturing sector; and these fundamentals remain despite macro-economic uncertainty.

‘Brexit could be seen as a red herring. Although uncertainty is not helpful, and manufacturers are having to react to potential changes in the trading environment; they are also getting on with things and doing what they need to do to succeed.

‘The increase in stockpiling is a reaction to Brexit and could be seen as a worrying trend on face value. However, this approach very much depends on the complexity of the supply chain. Stockpiling will be necessary for larger manufacturers in particular sectors such as automotive and pharmaceutical, but the majority of middle-market manufacturers with simple supply chains are less likely to be building up stocks - so the overall statistics could well be skewed by a small percentage of larger operators.’