Survey shows growth for manufacturers despite challenges

“The latest findings from the West & North Yorkshire Chamber quarterly economic survey (QES) for Q3 2015 present a two speed economy.  The service sector continues to grow at pace, reporting increasing headcounts and solid domestic and export sales, although the pace of growth has slowed in parts of our region.

Our manufacturing base, with more reliance on global markets, is definitely feeling the impact of international economic challenges. Although export sales improved this quarter following the falls reported in Q2, there is no doubt that the appreciation of sterling has squeezed margins with little opportunity to increase prices against a backdrop of slowing world trade. Despite this, growth is continuing across the sector, albeit at a reduced pace.

Companies are taking a long term view, recruiting and investing for future growth, I remain cautiously optimistic but as reported across many channels there is absolutely no room for complacency.”

Read the rest of the foreword and full report here.

Our own view of the market is broadly in line with the findings reported here. The appreciation of sterling against the Euro has benefitted our competition making them more competitive when selling in GBP, in turn placing downward pressure on our selling price. We do get a benefit from cheaper raw materials which we buy in Euros, partially offsetting the effect, dependant on material content and product mix however. We do see a growing order line which perhaps reflects a more contemplative market as we move into 2016.

Mark Viner, Commercial Director, Airedale International Air Conditioning Ltd