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10/01/2022

Britain’s manufacturers are more positive about the growth outlook as they enter 2022, with greater confidence in the prospects for their own companies than either the global or UK economies.

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10/01/2022

Britain’s manufacturers are more positive about the growth outlook as they enter 2022, with greater confidence in the prospects for their own companies than either the global or UK economies.
 
The Make UK/PwC Executive survey 2022: Harnessing Agility and Resilience shows the scale of uncertainty facing business in the current turbulent global environment, with more than half of companies saying the biggest challenges facing them had changed in the last twelve months. Their optimism is also tempered by escalating inflationary pressures and access to, as well as retaining, talent and key skills which are by far the biggest issues companies are having to address.
 
In the face of these challenges, however, most manufacturers have weathered the storm of the last couple of years with almost three quarters of companies now believing conditions for the sector will improve in 2022, with a similar number believing the opportunities for their business outweigh the risks. 

To take advantage of these opportunities manufacturers are prioritising improving productivity, investment in their people as well as new product development, while the recent COP 26 summit appears to have accelerated investments in the drive to ‘net zero’.
 
However, one year on from leaving the EU, two thirds of companies said that leaving had moderately or significantly hampered their business, with over a half of companies fearing a further impact this year from customs delays due to import checks and changes in product labelling.
 

It’s testament to the strength of manufacturers that they have emerged from the turbulence of the last couple of years in such a relatively strong position. While clouds remain on the horizon in the form of rapidly escalating costs, access to key skills, and the ominous emergence of the Omicron variant, the outlook is more positive for those that remain adaptable, agile and innovative.
Stephen Phipson CBE Chief Executive, Make UK
We are particularly pleased by the breadth of net zero ambitions reflected in the report. Across the UK we’re seeing an increasing number of businesses underpin their environmental, social and governance strategies with practical applications to decarbonise their operations and ambitions to build out their green skill base through the recruitment of 'green' jobs, a move that has already been flagged as outperforming the UK sector average in our recent Green Jobs Barometer.
Cara Haffey Industrial Manufacturing and Automotive Leader, PwC UK

Join our manufacturing experts who will be discussing the findings from the latest Make UK/PwC Executive Survey on 19 January 2022 - Book your place

Available resources

Industry report / Make UK