North-East manufacturers 'eye more jobs', despite industry slowdown

JOBS BOOST: North-east manufacturers are looking to create more jobs, an EEF report has said.

JOBS BOOST: North-east manufacturers are looking to create more jobs, an EEF report has said.

First published in Business News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

NORTH-EAST manufacturers are looking to create more jobs as they tackle increased work, despite the industry slowing its acceleration, a report has said.

Manufacturers’ organisation EEF says North-East firms have some of the strongest orders and output across the UK.

It said bosses are translating the growth into new posts, with more companies aiming to add to their workforce.

However, the announcement came as separate EEF figures showed the sector’s growth had eased, with the closely-watched CIPS/Markit purchasing managers’ index also revealing the industry had endured its worst performance in 14 months in August.

The Markit report said manufacturing gave a weaker-than-expected reading of 52.5, down from 54.8 in July, and said the UK was not immune to the impact of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

A reading above 50 separates growth from contraction.

Andy Tuscher, EEF North-East region director, said: “North-East manufacturers are still on course for a strong year, but our survey points to a moderation in the pace of expansion from the take-off in activity over the past year.

“However, manufacturers continue to recruit for skilled jobs, which is great news for local people, and increase their plans to invest in the coming year, which is exactly what the region’s economy needs for balanced growth.”

Rob Dobson, Markit senior economist, said while the industry had slowed, its pace of expansion was still above average.

He said: “Growth cooled further in August, with the underlying dynamics of the survey also providing a consistent picture of a broad slowdown.

“Sustaining the upturn is nonetheless still a positive in itself.

“However, it’s also becoming increasingly evident UK industry is not immune to the impacts of rising geopolitical and global market uncertainty, especially when they affect economic growth and business confidence in the eurozone.

“It is noticeable where export orders were reported to have risen, companies mainly linked this to demand from North America, Asia and the Middle East, as opposed to European partners.

“It therefore looks as if manufacturing will provide a lesser contribution to the UK economic growth story in the third quarter than at the start of the year.”

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