It is always important for manufacturers to be able to access suitable plastic washers, plastic nuts and so on. However, when trading conditions are tough, it is particularly vital that firms find it simple and easy to buy the resources they need.
At present, many of the UK’s small and medium-sized manufacturers are finding it difficult to function. According to the latest SME Trends Survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 23 per cent of the producers polled reported output volumes have increased in the three months to July. This was lower than the 28 per cent that revealed their volumes had fallen.
The resulting balance of minus five per cent is the first fall since October 2009. Meanwhile, respondents revealed they anticipate output will be broadly flat over the coming quarter.
It was also found that both export and domestic orders are expected to fall over the next three months.
Furthermore, respondents noted they plan to lower their capital expenditure in the year ahead compared with the previous twelve months. Investment intentions were at their weakest in three years.
This may mean it is particularly important for firms to access competitively priced plastic washers, plastic nuts and other similar products.
Commenting on the findings, the CBI’s Lucy Armstrong said: “Challenging domestic conditions, continuing uncertainty over the eurozone and a broader loss of momentum in global growth are clearly taking their toll on the UK’s smaller manufacturers.”
She added: “Production has fallen over the last three months and sentiment has deteriorated, while growth in demand has stalled, with little improvement expected in the coming quarter.”
However, Ms Armstrong went on to note than smaller manufacturers have stuck to their plans to take on more staff. She suggested this was perhaps “one of the few bright spots in an otherwise muted picture”.
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