UK manufacturers optimistic about year ahead

More than three quarters of Britain's manufacturers are more optimistic about their industry than they were 12 months ago, according to a new study. The Hazard Warning Report, launched today by Zurich Insurance, highlights that manufacturers are looking beyond the UK to emerging markets and that, contrary to popular belief, they are not finding a lack of credit will hold back the growth of their business.

The Hazard Warning Report is an in depth study of owner-managers within the mid-market sector - those companies with a £5m-300m turnover - combined with qualitative analysis that highlights the key concerns for UK manufacturers and the opportunities and challenges they face in the years ahead.

With domestic demand at a stand-still, the study shows that UK manufacturers are looking abroad for further opportunities, namely to China and India, with just under a half recognising that the onus is on them, rather than government or regulators, to break into these new markets. The top challenge facing UK manufacturers is the uncertainty of the economy, followed by the need to break into emerging markets and supply chain issues.

Steve Green at Zurich Insurance says, "The manufacturing sector has always been a key indicator of how well the economy is faring. This analysis shows that, even in times of unstable growth, not only are UK manufacturers optimistic about the future but also unfazed by the rhetoric surrounding a lack of finance. The findings show that manufacturers have a cautious optimism about the year ahead, and that they are excited to break into new markets."

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