Manufacturing Outlook Report

Industry slashes growth forecast ahead of EU exit

Welcome to the latest edition of Manufacturing Outlook, our quarterly report with Make UK, providing the most up-to-date and detailed intelligence on the state of UK manufacturing. 

Following the record breaking lows reported across UK manufacturing earlier this year, our Q4 report includes a comprehensive overview of the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Last quarter the survey reported significant improvements in output and orders as manufacturers benefitted from reduced restrictions and greater knowledge of how to navigate the new business environment. However, the balances reported in Q3 were still some of the lowest reported by historical standards.

The Q4 results indicate manufacturers have continued to report improving, or at least not worsening, levels of performance across the majority of our key metrics. However, firms expect their orders books, particularly international sales, to worsen over the coming months as the UK-EU transition period ends.

Download our latest report for detailed UK manufacturing, subsector and regional insights. In this edition we explore manufacturers’ confidence in their business and the wider economy as well as analysis of manufacturing output, orders, investment and employment intentions with an outlook for the first quarter of 2021.

Download Q4 Report

If you would like to discuss any of the topics raised in this report, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Austin or your usual BDO Manufacturing partner.

Why manufacturing matters?

The manufacturing sector is hugely important for the UK economy, trade and investment. UK manufacturing employment stands at over 2.7 million people and manufacturing accounts for nearly half of all UK exports. Manufacturing also contributes 10% of all Gross Value Added. It is not hard to see why manufacturing is key to the UK’s trade balance and to see that this will become all the more true post the exit from the EU.

The Manufacturing Outlook Report is a Make UK/BDO collaboration. It is important to us that we understand the challenges that you face in running your manufacturing businesses. It helps us use our skills, experience and knowledge to make a tangible difference to your business.