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UK manufacturers hit by global economic worries

UK manufacturers are feeling the impact of the eurozone’s slowdown and wider global problems, a survey has found.

The business trends report from the accountancy and services group BDO said that in September growth expectations among manufacturers saw their steepest fall since May 2013.

Optimism among UK business generally saw a slight fall, the report said.

But with many manufactures reliant on exports, worsening economic conditions overseas are starting to hit.

BDO’s manufacturing index, which records growth expectations over the next three months, fell from 113.2 in August to 111.6 in September.

A reading above 100 still indicates growth, but the unexpected sharpness of the fall shows how manufacturers are suffering from the recent downturn in the global economy, said BDO partner Peter Hemington.

“With global conditions becoming increasingly challenging, it was only a matter of time before the stellar increases in economic growth recorded earlier this year came to and end.

“Given their reliance on exports, manufacturers have borne the brunt of weakening global demand but the effects of stuttering worldwide growth are obvious throughout the economy,” he said.


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Last week, poor economic data from Germany intensified worries about growth in the eurozone and helped to send global stock markets into reverse.

However, UK businesses overall are only slightly less positive about growth expectations over the next quarter, BDO found.

The general index fell from 103.8 in August to 103.3 in September.

Meanwhile, worries about global growth have failed to dent recruitment expectations over the coming months. The BDO employment index rose from 111.2 in August to 112.3 in September.

The report said: “This indicates that the recent trend of falling unemployment is likely to continue, with firms expecting to increase hiring towards the end of the year.”

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