The UK's manufacturers believe that they are about to turn the tide of history and start expanding the country’s industrial sector once again.
A snapshot survey from Make UK - published in The Times today - has led the industry body to declare that, despite concerns about rising costs, manufacturing could account for 15% of Britain’s gross domestic product.
Its share of the economy has dwindled from 25% of GDP, or national output, to only 9.4% last year during a long-term decline of the sector in Britain from the 1970s.
However, a survey of senior executives at 205 leading manufacturers by Make UK and PwC has uncovered a renewed sense of confidence in their prospects.
This is thanks to a growing consensus in Westminster that something needs to be done about industry; a belief that Britain is becoming a more competitive place to do business, compared with its neighbours in mainland Europe; and the opportunities presented by the transition to a green economy and the rise of “machine learning” and artificial intelligence.
Make UK, which speaks for 20,000 companies, said: “The new year of 2024 is the opportunity to start to shift the dial so we can increase manufacturing GDP to 15 per cent.”
The UK's flagship share index, the FTSE 100, was down 15-points at 7,673 shortly after opening this morning.
Brent crude oil futures were down -1.09% today, trading at $77.90 per barrel.
Companies reporting today
Shell - Q4 Production Statement