The Voice of SME's in Engineering

BANK OF ENGLAND SURVEY RESULTS - SEPTEMBER 2018

ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION – the voice of SMEs in Engineering

I attended a Bank of England meeting on 21 September 2018 and presented the results of our recent survey among SMEs in Engineering. In comparison with the last survey of 6 March 2018 the following trends are apparent:

  • Business Confidence is down slightly
  • Overall Growth is approximately the same
  • UK Demand is flat
  • Export demand is flat
  • The number of people employed is approximately the same
  • The average increase in pay per employee is still mainly in the 0-2% area
  • The living wage is affecting business in 24% of the survey compared to 26% last time
  • There are still skill shortages
  • 59% of survey expect to increase prices compared with 52% last time
  • Investment intentions are approximately the same as last time

The factors influencing the results include the following:

  • The main concern amongst our members is the uncertainty of Brexit. This is affecting their future planning and investment. Many companies are fearful of the disruption of their supply lines across Europe particularly in ‘just in time’ situations.
  • SMEs are trying to live within their own cash flows rather than borrow from the big 5 Banks. They are reluctant to give personal guarantees. This and Brexit are restricting investment intentions. The alternative market is still expanding.

Kind regards
Sir Ronald Halstead
EIA President