Mechanical enquiries return
According to the Engineering and Machinery Alliance’s (EAMA) business monitor, in September, mechanical engineering companies began to see improvements in enquiry levels for the first time since May.
It's a mixed picture: the business monitor reported weak investment and order levels were reported despite some improvements on August levels. Despite this, employment plans remained positive overall. The monitor also showed that funding for lending which was announced in July hasn’t made much difference to the access to finance levels. However, confidence levels are on the rise with the jobs balance showing that firms are still looking to recruit, resulting in more business enquiries.
Martin Walder, chairman, EAMA, said: “The really important news is the turnaround on the number of enquiries coming in. We must now ensure that this month’s positive outcome producing new business opportunities is converted successfully into orders, as many firms are still reporting weaker order levels than last year.”
He added: “Some companies mostly supplying into automotive, aerospace, food and drink and oil and gas are doing well, but others found their UK and European markets almost fall asleep from the end of the first quarter. And the recent economic news out of the Eurozone hasn’t been good.”
The EAMA suggested that businesses within the industry must now either choose to look for markets further afield such as the Far East or South America, rely on a financial partner or manage weaker operations.