The UK manufacturing sector made a strong comeback in August, according to PMI figures released by Markit. The figures, which took a distinct downturn after the Brexit result, are now showing their strongest performance for almost a year.
August manufacturing figures are positive news for the UK after July’s poor results. PMI figures for July experienced their worst performance for three years and they led to concerns over a recession.
The announcement was also good news for the pound, which increased by 1% following the news. While this was viewed as a positive result by many, a stronger pound will result in an increased priced for imported goods.
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sectors remain positive
Despite concerns over Brexit and the implications for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, new figures from the Chemical Industries Association showed that the vast majority of companies are positive about the future.
According to a recent survey, 89% companies stated that research and development investment would continue as usual and 87% feel that exports will continue to perform at their current levels or increase.
Companies also expect that Brexit will make an impact on investment due to the continued uncertainty, however, the majority of companies don’t plan to make changes to their current capital investment expenditure, and 71% stated that employment levels will either stay as they are or experience an upsurge.
The research also highlighted concerns over fixed exchange rates but many companies are positive that the current low sterling rates would boost exports in the sector.
Commenting on the research, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, Steve Elliot said:
“It is right we acknowledge that we are in uncertain times while the country exits the European Union, but our survey shows that there is still confidence that the UK can be a good place to do business. The products and technologies of our companies are vital enablers to the rest of manufacturing.”
Elliot also urged the government to do all it could to “make it even better for companies to invest” in the UK.
Major companies commit to the UK
Despite concerns over businesses holding off investment decisions post Brexit, major companies in the pharmaceutical sector such as GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca have showed their commitment to the UK
GlaxoSmithKline recently announced a £275 million investment into three manufacturing plants in the UK while AstraZeneca committed to spend £330 million into research and development in the UK.