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Manufacturers are on recruitment drive, says economy survey
MANUFACTURERS in Milton Keynes have seen a dramatic upturn in hiring activity in the last three months, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey from Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.
The QES report, published today (July 12) for Q2 2016 showed that all of the manufacturing firms questioned expect their headcount to either increase or remain the same over the next three months.
Each also said that workforce training had increased or be consistent when compared with the first quarter.
It was a similar story for the service sector, which also reported an increase in hiring activity across the same timeframe. Only 4% of the service industry said their headcount would decrease over the next three months. And 92% of service sector firms said investment in training would increase or stay the same.
Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths (pictured) said: “It is brilliant to see firms are recruiting new staff and having great success internationally but the uncertainty of the recent EU referendum could be an influence on the dip in the domestic market.
“The Chamber now calls upon the government to outline the next steps in the UK leaving the EU as quickly as possible to ensure calm and stability during the upcoming Brexit transition period.”
Export sales and orders were buoyant in the second quarter of 2016, with all manufacturing firms and 90% of the service sector which took part reporting steady or increasing export sales over the most recent quarter.
It was a positive picture for export orders, with 100% of firms operating in the manufacturing sector indicating that figures had remained consistent or increased when compared to the first quarter. 78% of service sector businesses said the same.
But UK sales activity for business operating in the services sector showed a sharp decline over the previous three months, with 18% of firms reporting a decrease in sales – triple that of the last quarter, when only 6% reported a decline.
More than a third of the service sector respondents said that their sales activity over the second quarter was in line with the first quarter.
For manufacturing, UK sales activity has recorded a slight pick-up in activity over the past three months with almost half of manufacturing firms reporting an increase in UK sales activity during the second quarter and a further 44% reporting sales in line with first quarter.
Price pressures for businesses operating in the manufacturing sector declined sharply during the second quarter of 2016 with just 11% of all respondents reporting an increase over the last quarter.
Overheads, such as energy costs, were the main factor leading all industries to increase their prices. And exchange rates, business rates and competition were the main external factors for concern.
Data for the Q2 2016 report was collected between May 23 and June 13 and contains responses from 40 businesses employing 1,491 people.
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