There’s been a run of cheery news for manufacturers recently. November and December saw PMI scores of 58.2 and 56.3 respectively (in the Purchasing Managers Index any score over 50 indicates growth) and the Engineering Employers Federation’s Executive Survey shows twice as many UK manufacturers are expecting to expand during 2018 (40% of respondents) as foresee contraction (18%).

Dig deeper and it becomes clear what drives this optimism: whilst UK manufacturing is forecast to grow by 2% this year, exports are set to increase by over 10%. 81% of manufacturers saw demand increase in at least one major foreign market in the last quarter of 2017. Respondents to the EEF survey expect UK demand to reduce, but overseas demand to grow in the year ahead. Eurozone manufacturing PMI reached a record level of 60.6 in December, with Germany at 63.3

Since we launched Applegate PRO two years ago, one thing that has surprised me is the number of UK firms telling us they don’t want export opportunities – so much so that we actually developed the facility for firms to be excluded from any quotation requests outside their home market, a facility only British firms have used. Clearly, each individual business must decide what’s best for it; equally clearly there are sizeable opportunities available for those prepared to seize them. Since June 2016 sterling has been significantly cheaper vs other major currencies, providing British firms with a major advantage against export competitors. UK Export Finance can help with insurance and funding support for firms concerned over counterparty risk. 

For firms tempted to dip a toe into the export-ocean, Applegate PRO provides a light and easy way to start. If matched to an overseas quotation request the details will be sent straight to your inbox, all you need to do is to complete your response through the system. No travel, no interpreters, no intermediaries, no expensive trade shows. If you’re interested in learning more, please do contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Return to Blog Index