I hear that job creation in the private sector is running ahead of job losses in the public sector ( here ) and we ourselves know companies in the manufacturing area who are growing 20 to 40% and have been doing so for the past year.
Meanwhile in the East there is a notable growth in wealth and China ( as has been historically the case ) is once again beginning to have problems supplying its own people with food and goods and even experiencing some credit problems.
Here in the UK we now have relatively low-cost components and raw materials with low-cost labour – compared to previous times when manufacturing was 25% of GDP – now it is half that we are coming up from the bottom of the cycle, and could well yet see a new flowering of UK industrial growth based on enterprise and innovation in spite of recent stalling in the process.
With the Eurozone pre-occupied with balancing one economy against another and the USA simply getting further and further into debt, they are both likely to meet the need for structural change in their manufacturing industries. The UK has already done this and is well positioned to take advantage of new industries in green engineering and a new balance of wealth and power in the global marketplace.
Our old connections around the globe may yet serve us well – given that we have not really offended anybody in recent years and that British engineering retains a strong reputation for quality. If only we could get the support of government expenditure on major projects being sourced in the UK we could well help to pull the country out its economic malaise more quickly.
The connections between mainstream economy, e.g. retail and financial sectors, and the manufacturing sectors, are somewhat flexible and indirect to the point that their growth cycles are completely out of step. Once again the mainstream economy has dragged down the manufacturing industries and again manufacturing is one of the engines pulling the country out of recession. This makes the job harder but without the dips we would not have the ups! So let us look forward to an extended growth cycle for UK manufacturing in the next few years and remember the hard learned lessons of how to market ourselves through the whole of the cycle so as to best take advantage of the upturns and best survive the downturns.
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