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Exports seen as key to growth
25 January 2013
Britain's manufacturers are looking past economic gloom and focusing on generating continued growth through 2012, according to a survey of senior manufacturing executives published by manufacturers' organisation, EEF.
They are seeking to achieve this by increasing exports of products and services to emerging markets.
The Manufacturing Executive survey, published with EEF's 2012 Economic Prospects report, shows the outlook for the economy in the year ahead comes with a high degree of uncertainty.While 21% of executives expect conditions in the UK economy to be better than in 2011, 49% believe conditions will worsen.
Manufacturers are more optimistic about growth potential within their own businesses for the year ahead.
While there are signs that companies have already adjusted their business plans in response to the growing global economic uncertainty, firms are hunting out new, global markets for their products and services. UK manufacturers are targeting nontraditional markets, responding to the changing tastes of consumers and taking advantage of supply chain opportunities.
Executives see these strategies paying off, with the EEF survey showing continued confidence about performance in export markets.More than 80% expect sales to be the same or greater in 2012 compared to last year. Responses on likely sales in the UK market are also broadly positive, especially among SMEs and are expected to lead to recruitment of permanent employees.